Log in

No account? Create an account
13 August 2017 @ 12:31 am
Film investors’ fear of the Bard is burying my Richard II, says James Ivory

I remember hearing rumors about this a couple of years ago…This is the first time I've read that he had another Richard II film in mind, back in the '90s:

This is not the first time Ivory has tried to get Richard II off the ground. It appears that Kenneth Branagh put the kibosh on a previous production in 1992, around the time Merchant and Ivory were making The Remains of the Day.

“I had another cast. Daniel Day-Lewis as Richard II and Kenneth Branagh as Bolingbroke, or Henry IV as he becomes, and Emma Thompson as the queen,” said Ivory. “And then, unfortunately, Branagh said ‘I couldn’t play Bolingbroke, I’d have to play Richard’.

“We were about to make another movie anyway, so I let it go and we didn’t proceed with it.” (my emphasis)

That would have been something to see… (the Emma Thompson part, I mean; Branagh doesn't really strike me as the Richard II type, though I could perhaps imagine him as Bolingbroke)

(There's a conspicuous absence of any mention of The Hollow Crown in here, unless I just read the article too fast. I wonder why that is?)

There's also another iteration of "if Shakespeare were alive today, he'd be writing screenplays!" at the very end - which always irritates me slightly, as the implication is that there's nothing to draw a writer to the stage these days, even though I think the idea behind the comparison is that movies are analogous to Elizabethan plays. I'm just not totally convinced - in part because cinema is so focused on realism, in a way that I think can actually make it harder to adapt Shakespeare's plays for film (voiceover soliloquies, bane of my existence, I'm looking at you).
Muster Marknightspore on August 13th, 2017 01:51 pm (UTC)
There's a great book on how to write a screenplay called "Anatomy of the Screenplay" by Daniel Decker. It's one of the best books on Shakespearean form that I have ever read, and yet he never mentions Shakespeare. Shakespeare invented the structure of the American screenplay. Not that his plays are particularly adaptable (though Kurosawa sure does a good job), but that the interactions of characters, their conflicts, their coalescing and recoalescing groupings, their convergence at the end -- all of that was first really done by Shakespeare.