‘Avengers’ director’s new film -- Shakespeare -- set for Toronto

Joss Whedon, left, and Nathan Fillion at a party during Comic-Con in San Diego.
(Matt Sayles / Invision for The Nerd Machine / Associated Press)

Director Joss Whedon is following up his mega-hit “The Avengers” not with another superhero movie but with a Shakespeare film. And it has landed a spot at the Toronto International Film Festival, which starts Sept. 6.

Whedon’s take on the Bard’s “Much Ado About Nothing” is billed as “contemporary,” yet it apparently uses the original text (and was shot in just 12 days). The film stars Amy Acker (who appeared in Whedon’s “The Cabin in the Woods”) and Alexis Denisof as the sparring lovers Beatrice and Benedick, and Toronto Fest programmers say it “offers a dark, sexy and occasionally absurd view of the intricate game that is love.”

Other stars include Nathan Fillion, Spencer Treat and Clark Gregg.

PHOTOS: Shakespeare on screen | VIDEO: 5 trailers from TIFF


Given Whedon’s wide-ranging projects --"Toy Story,""Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Cabin” and of course, “Avengers” -- perhaps Shakespeare shouldn’t come as a surprise, and Whedon has director, producer and screenplay credits on “Much Ado.”

The film was shot in Santa Monica and is in black and white. In a news release announcing the project last year, Whedon said the text “is to me a deconstruction of the idea of love, which is ironic, since the entire production is a love letter -- to the text, to the cast, even to the house it’s shot in.”

In a prescient bit of chest-thumping, the statement added that the film “should be headed for the festival circuit, because it is fancy.”


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