The works of William Shakespeare are among the most adapted in stage and screen history. And no wonder. His stories are timeless. “Coriolanus” is a great example. Based on the life of Roman general Caius Martius, who was given the name Coriolanus in honour of his bravery in battle, the Bard’s play was conceived as a tragedy, so you know it all ends in tears and bloodshed.
British actor Ralph Fiennes, last seen as Lord Voldemort in the “Harry Potter” finale, has adapted the play for a contemporary setting, placing the characters in modern-day Rome, with Coriolanus now a Navy SEAL-like military badass. I’m no expert, but sounds like he’s kept the classical dialogue. With some embellishments from scriptwriter John Logan. Fiennes is taking a page out of Kenneth’s Branagh approach to adapting Shakespeare. He’s also assembled an excellent cast in Gerard Butler, Brian Cox, Vanessa Redgrave, James Nesbitt, Jessica Chastain, and Fiennes himself in the title role. The film has been getting strong reviews at critics screenings and film fests around Europe. Personally, I’m really curious to see what Fiennes can accomplish as a director.
“Coriolanus” premieres 7th December in the US. No word on a local release yet.