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Joss Whedon's 'Much Ado About Nothing' kicks off Seattle Film Fest with great fanfare

Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing has been on the festival circuit since September, but no other festival has made ado about the film quite like the Seattle International Film Festival, where Much Ado screened for a crowd of 3,000 on Thursday.

The Shakespeare adaptation – which Whedon shot in a 12-day stealth production at his house during what was supposed to be his post-Avengers vacation – kicked off the festival for its opening night at Seattle’s McCaw Hall in what became a record-breaking event shortly after ticket sales opened. The gala screening and party sold out in six hours on April 8, which went on to become the biggest box office day in SIFF’s 39-year history.

“We knew there was going to be a lot of demand but we didn’t really think it was going to go that fast,” SIFF artistic director Carl Spence told EW about the event that featured appearances by Whedon and cast members. “We’ve had other films with major stars that have done well and sell out, but it usually takes a couple of weeks.” READ FULL STORY

Joss Whedon's 'Much Ado About Nothing' to open Oscars Outdoors screening series; See full lineup

It’s much ado about movies at Oscars Outdoors this summer.

The screening series launched by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences last year is returning to Los Angeles this summer, along with some New York screenings in partnership with Rooftop Films Summer Series.

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Watch Sean Maher, Amy Acker, Alexis Denisof, more Whedonverse favorites in newest 'Much Ado About Nothing' trailer -- VIDEO

Much Ado About Nothing just got another trailer, this one made for the U.K. The newest peek at Joss Whedon’s take on the beloved Shakespeare comedy spotlights the Bard’s wittiest couple, Benedick and Beatrice – much like the first trailer – though here there’s less merry war and more mountains of affection.

To the tune of Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake, Beatrice (Amy Acker) and Benedick (Alexis Denisof) are shown falling for each other – and literally falling down the stairs of Whedon’s house (where the film was made during a 12-day shoot). The trailer gives us more glimpses of the play’s other central couple, Hero (Jillian Morgese) and Claudio (Fran Kranz), and also features footage of the villainous Don John (Sean Maher) plotting to ruin their wedding and getting it on with Conrade – a role that got a gender reversal in Whedon’s interpretation.

Check out the trailer below: READ FULL STORY

Joss Whedon's 'Much Ado About Nothing' adaptation gets June 2013 release

To be, or not to be … Joss Whedon.

The Avengers writer-director’s film adaptation of the comedic Shakespeare classic Much Ado About Nothing has been slated for a June 7, 2013 joint theatrical release by Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions, according to a press release Thursday.

The contemporary take on the play stars Whedon alums Amy Acker, Alexis Denisof and Nathan Fillion, plus Fran Kranz, Jillian Morgese, Sean Maher, Clark Gregg, and Reed Diamond. Whedon and his wife Kai Cole produced the film through their studio Bellwether films, with Daniel Kaminsky as a co-producer, according to the release.

The movie, about bickering lovers Beatrice (Acker) and Benedick (Denisof), was filmed in only 12 days. Any loyal fan of Acker and Denisof in Whedon’s Buffy spinoff Angel, or Fillion in Whedon’s sci-fi western show Firefly, will appreciate the stars’ performances in Much Ado.
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Joss Whedon on 'Much Ado About Nothing' and how Shakespeare and 'The Avengers' are similar

Joss_Whedon

Joss Whedon’s name has been flung around the movie stratosphere with Thor-worthy momentum since his superhero blockbuster The Avengers staked a claim on the box office this summer.

But the Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel and Firefly creator still feels relatively nervous, modest, yenta-ish and excited when it comes to film festivals. His equally modest, black-and-white Shakespeare adaptation Much Ado About Nothing premieres Saturday at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival. The festival runs from Thursday through Sept. 16.

“I’ve been to two festivals in my life, and I’ve never been to Toronto. I haven’t really been making festival movies. This is new territory for me,” Whedon told EW.com. “I’m kind of festive. Toronto has an amazing rep. The entire cast is coming. That’s so exciting for me, since they’re all my buddies. I would like to find a distributor and would really like to see other people’s movies.”

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Joss Whedon on his secret film of 'Much Ado About Nothing': 'This is the best vacation I've ever taken' -- EXCLUSIVE

After wrapping production on Marvel Studios’ gargantuan summer tent-pole The Avengers, writer-director Joss Whedon was supposed to go on a monthlong vacation with his wife, Kai Cole. Instead, Whedon tells EW exclusively that his wife suggested he finally make the feature film version of William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing he’d been ruminating over for years.

And so he did — adapting the script, casting the film with Whedonverse alums like Nathan Fillion, Amy Acker (Angel), Alexis Denisof (BuffyAngel), and Sean Maher (Firefly), and shooting the self-funded, black-and-white indie in secret over 12 days at his Santa Monica, Calif., home. (Production wrapped on Sunday, and Whedon says it will be ready for spring 2012 film festivals.) How did Whedon pull all this off? What was it about this particular Shakespeare comedy that drew him in? And what did stars Sean Maher — who plays the fiendish villain Don John — and Amy Acker — who co-stars with Denisof as the sarcastic, talky couple at the center of the play — make of all of this ado about Much Ado? Check out EW’s exclusive Q&As with Whedon, Maher, and Acker below, as well as exclusive shots of Maher, Denisof and Acker from the film:  READ FULL STORY

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