William Shakespeare

March 11, 2013 | 7:34 a.m.

‘Much Ado’ at SXSW: Shakespeare sparks a Whedonverse reunion

Joss Whedon traveled to the Toronto Film Festival in September 2012 to premiere his film "Much Ado About Nothing." The film played over the weekend in Austin at SXSW 2013. (Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times)
Joss Whedon — the man behind TV’s sci-fi western series “Firefly, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and its spinoff “Angel,” as well as the big-screen mega-hit “The Avengers” –  is notorious for his loyalty to his actors, who pop up again and again in his projects. His latest, “Much Ado About Nothing,” which played Austin’s South by Southwest Film Festival over the weekend after premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival last September, is hardly an exception. For his take on the Shakespearean romantic romp, Whedon turned to veterans such as Clark Gregg and Nathan Fillion to appear (as Leonato and Dogberry, respectively). Fran Kranz plays Claudio, while Amy Acker and Alexis Denisof play Beatrice and Benedick. Sean Maher is Don John. There’s also a smattering of newcomers, including Jillian Morgese as Hero. At a panel at SXSW over the weekend, […]
Feb. 04, 2013 | 1:25 p.m.

Richard III horror story: Axed in head, stabbed in rear, bones dug up

Richard III's skeleton was found under a parking lot in the town of Leicester. (University of Leicester)
This post has been updated. Please see note at the bottom for details. King Richard III has not been treated well in popular culture, and as the recent discovery of his skeleton shows, he was not treated well in death either. The skeleton of the  medieval monarch  who was demonized by William Shakespeare, and who also popped up in the 1939 and ’62 horror films “Tower of London,” is missing its feet, and its wrist bones were found close together, suggesting that the hands were tied together when he was buried. There were 10 wounds discovered on the skeleton, including two deadly blows to the back of the head, one of which sliced part of the skull off. And archaeologists from the University of Leicester, who found the royal skeleton,  say the  corpse was also subjected to “humiliation injuries” including a sword […]
Dec. 12, 2012 | 7:00 a.m.

‘The Hobbit’: Richard Armitage finds Thorin Oakenshield in ‘Macbeth’

Richard Armitage plays the dwarf king Thorin Oakenshield in "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." (George Pimentel / Getty Images; New Line Cinema / MGM / Warner Bros.)
In J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit,” Thorin Oakenshield, a mighty warrior and proud heir of a dwarf king, serves as a foil to the book’s unlikely hero Bilbo Baggins, a humble hobbit with a love for food, comfort and a simple life. While Bilbo achieves his own kind of courage, Thorin’s story is marked by tragedy. For Richard Armitage, who plays Thorin in Peter Jackson’s film adaptation of Tolkien’s tale, inspiration for the character came from the story of a different tragic king by another famous English writer — William Shakespeare. “I was in a production of ‘Macbeth,’” Armitage said. “So I went back to all my notes about ‘Macbeth,’ because I just felt there was something about that character unwinding that was relevant to Thorin unwinding in this story.” PHOTOS: 60 images from ‘The Hobbit’ “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” […]
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