Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The Next Whedon Shakespeare

A couple days ago, there were some posts on Twitter, asking which Shakespeare play Joss Whedon should do next. To die-hard fans of Joss and the talented actors with whom he works, the possibilities for awesomeness are practically endless. Joss did a brilliant job with a Much Ado About Nothing. You could argue that Buffy that Vampire Slayer is the story of the seemingly under-prepared Prince Hal from Henry IV Part 1. That probably means that The First is Hotspur...

Limiting ourselves to the more well known plays, a few interesting possibilities that I would love to see would be:
  • Clark Gregg as King Lear
  • Alan Tudyk and Gina Torres reunited as the Macbeths
  • Adam Baldwin as Hamlet

Heh. Adam Baldwin as Hamlet...

However, there is another play that's less well known, which I think would be a natural for Joss to take on next: Troilus and Cressida. This play is set during the Greek siege of Troy and tells the story of various pairs of lovers acting their parts on that stage: Troilus with Cressida, Diomedes with Cressida, Paris with Helen of Troy, Achilles and Patroclus.

This play is a gold mine of the material that Joss works with best. It is easily Shakespeare's snarkiest play, opening with a prologue that veers crazily from serious to sarcastic, repeatedly. It ends with the cheeky suggestion that viewers are free like the play or not...the playwright doesn't care.

The plot lines in Troilus and Cressida are both comic and tragic, genre-bending material at its finest and therefore natural Whedon fare. There is doomed love, there are doomed heroes, there are comic breaks during moments of tension. There is an epic eavesdropping scene, battles and pointless death. Done up by Joss, this would be FANTASTIC!

And half the fun would be casting it. I don't have it all worked out but these are some casting options that would be pretty excellent:

  • Amy Acker, a lovely woman who seems to excel in all kinds of roles, funny and tragic, would be an epic Cressida.
  •  Clark Gregg would be a fantastic Hector 

  • Patton Oswalt would be great as Pandarus. Or maybe Thersites.

  • My ideal cast might have Tricia Helfer be Helen of Troy. Hey, I can dream...

  • How about Nathan Fillion as Ajax?
 This project would be brilliant. Let's urge Joss to make it happen!