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Julie Taymor brings “The Tempest” to film.

August 13, 2010

OMG you guys. I had no idea this was even happening. The Tempest is one of my favorite Shakespeare plays, so much so that I wear a bracelet every day engraved with Prospero’s famous line, “We are such stuff as dreams are made on.” Years ago I saw an amazing filmed stage production of The Tempest as directed by Julie Taymor on PBS. It’s apparently unavailable (nor can I find photos from it anywhere), but you have to believe me when I tell you it was beautiful. The spirit, Ariel, was played by a female puppeteer with a simple hand puppet shaped like an androgynous face that had layers of cloth floating out of its neck. Sounds weird, but it was sooo cool.

Now JT brings us The Tempest on film, and holy crap am I excited. This woman is a genius on stage so I can only imagine what she can do with the unrestricting medium of film. And OMGWTF look at this CAST:

Helen Mirren- Prospera

Djimon Hounsou- Caliban

Chris Cooper- Antonio

David Straitharn- Alonso

Alan Cumming- Sebastian

Russell Brand- Trinculo

Alfred Molina- Stefano

Ben Wishaw- Ariel

Felicity Jones- Miranda

I’m unfamiliar with the actors playing Ariel and Miranda but holy crap that is a good cast. As for the gender swapping of Prospero? I can get on board with that. The usual old and crabby portrayals of Prospero are getting well…old.  While I would much rather have seem Ariel cast with a female actor (the character is gender neutral anyway) I will give Dame Mirren my complete attention knowing she’ll probably rock it.  Djimon Hounsou’s accent and weird face make up tell me his Caliban has all the aesthetic needs covered, so hopefully he can bring the creepy factor to the role. Also, Russell Brand as comic relief Trinculo will probably be freaking hilarious.

Shot in Hawaii, Alan Cumming goes into a bit more detail on his website, “Julie wanted to use Hawaii because of all the lavic landscapes, and indeed it felt like we shot on practically every piece of remote lava they had. But it is a stunning backdrop to the story, and Helen playing Prospero brings a more healing, Mother Earth sensibility to the character, making the story more about reconciliation than vengeance.”

Also, how freaking amazing is this poster? I cannot WAIT.

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