Joss Whedon’s film adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing had its United States debut at the SXSW Film Festival on Saturday afternoon. Though the film re-united the director with many of his “Whedonverse” alumni, he does have one regret.
Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing was shot just after completion of The Avengers in 2011. He brought many of his former cast-members (and personal friends) to his own California home to shoot the Shakespeare adaptation, which he described as a “vacation.”
The film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival last year, and premiered in the U.S. at SXSW over the weekend.
“When Joss asks you to do anything, you always say yes. Then worry about it afterward,” Alexis Denisof, who plays Benedick, said at a Q&A after the film screened. “There wasn’t that much time to worry about it, because he also said, ‘We’re doing it in a couple of weeks.’ For sure, it was a labor of love and there was a lot of love, but there was also a lot of labor. That was one of the fun things about it.”
Actor Clark Gregg, who plays Agent Phil Coulson in The Avengers and other Marvel films, said that the experience on Much Ado About Nothing was far different from that of a big screen superhero film.
“Everything was so massively prepared on The Avengers. They could show you digital renderings on their iPads of what everything around you was going to look like as you did the scene,” Gregg said. “This was very, very not like that.”
“You had this enormous sense of accomplishment, as opposed to something like The Avengers, where you’re shooting one-tenth of an explosion for a week. It felt enough like theater to give you that high all the time, yet it felt also like we were creating something truly cinematic. You don’t usually get both.”
Much Ado About Nothing will be released by Lionsgate on June 7. Whedon recently told Deadline that he probably won’t be able to fit another film in before he gets to work on The Avengers 2.
Interestingly, Whedon does have one regret from Much Ado About Nothing.
“My only regret is that we didn’t have a Stedicam, so we couldn’t experience the flow of the house,” Whedon said of filming in his own home. “One of the joys of it is how one room opens up into another. I feel like I let the house down. I didn’t use its best takes.”
Fun fact: Whedon’s home was designed and built by his wife, architect Kai Cole.
Here’s a trailer for Much Ado About Nothing: