The Cymbeline crew landed on the Lido today for the premiere of Michael Almereyda’s modern re-telling of one of Shakespeare’s later plays. Guns take the place of daggers, and dirty cops and a drug dealing biker gang stand in for 16th century Britons. The romance, betrayal and revenge ensemble story stars Ethan Hawke, Dakota Johnson, Milla Jovovich, Anton Yelchin, Penn Badgley, Ed Harris, Bill Pullman, Delroy Lindo, and John Leguizamo. The latter came to Venice today with Almereyda, Jovovich and Yelchin and said his experience on Baz Luhrman’s Romeo + Juliet had helped get him used to performing the Bard in a contemporary setting. Almereyda has also previously tackled Shakespeare with 2000’s Hamlet, which too starred Hawke. The group today reflected on how much of Shakespeare has consistently been the basis for wide-ranging films. “Its just a phenomenon,” said Almereyda. “There’s no other writer whose relevance and real value can be verified like this. Look up Shakespeare on IMDB. Does anyone know how many credits he has? A lot more than any writer living or dead… It’s a tradition that is very clear.” Lionsgate’s Grindstone Entertainment acquired North American rights on the eve of Cymbeline‘s Venice bow. Here’s the trailer:
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