UPI reported yesterday that:
"Variety.com said Michael Radford wrote the script for and plans to direct the movie. He is expected to start shooting it in Europe this year.
"This will be the second time Radford and Pacino team up for a Shakespeare project; they also worked together on the 2004 film version of "The Merchant of Venice," in which Pacino played Shylock."
I'm not sure what to think about the "Radford wrote the script" part of this story, but it probably can't be good. The Pacino Merchant was good, however, and presentationally sumptuous. Perhaps we will be treated to similar atmospherics in this big screen Lear.
The Guardian is reporting that:
"Dame Judi Dench and Leonardo DiCaprio are among a handful of stars who will be inducted into a new hall of fame dedicated to William Shakespeare.
hall - to be erected in the playwright's birthplace in
Stratford-Upon-Avon, England - will honour the performers, directors
and artists inspired by the great dramatist's body of work.
"Dench toured with esteemed theatre troupe the Royal Shakespeare Company in the 1960s, while DiCaprio became a star after tackling the tragic lead role in the 1996's Romeo + Juliet"
In addition to these mega-stars, a few minor Shakespeareans are also under consideration, Olivier, Branagh and Patrick Stewart among them.
Here is the list of inductees:
- Ben Jonson
- David Garrick
- Charles Dickens
- Ellen Terry
- Laurence Olivier
- Judi Dench
- Kenneth Branagh
- Patrick Stewart
- Leonardo DiCaprio
- Akira Kurosawa
- Sam Wanamaker
- Paul Robeson
And here is a link to a very nice Guardian slideshow detailing each one. Including Leo and Kurosawa was a publicists masterstroke to provoke controversy and generate that all important buzz. Dickens and Wanamaker, as potent as they were as promoters of Shakespeare, can hardly be said to belong as actors. And how can Ben be included but not Burbage? These twelve were chosen by the Birthplace Trust. (!)
That's not the best part. The best part is that:
"The hall of fame will have 13 names, the minimum number of players to perform any Shakespeare play. The trust has chosen 12, but Guardian readers are invited to vote online for the last name. Vote at guardian.co.uk/stage."
Here is the list of possible candidates for that coveted 13th place:
- Peter Brook
- John Gielgud
- Boris Pasternak
- Sarah Siddons
- Peggy Ashcroft
- George Bernard Shaw
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
- Sarah Bernhardt
- Virginia Woolf
- David Tennant
Pasternak? Woolf? Ones sees why, but really. The great Helen Mirren, John Gielgud, or any one of dozens of more deservings are not on the list of inductees or the list of potential candidates. As I said, its all about buzz. The Hall of Fame, such as it is, is to be part of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust's visitor centre at Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire.