Maybe it’s just because of the art department gone wild, but I still dig Julie Taymor’s Titus. And so when a bunch of cast announcements remind me that she’s returning to Shakespeare after the dismal showing of Across the Universe, I figure it’s worth paying attention. The Tempest will be Taymor’s next subject, albeit with a slight twist: the exiled Prospero will instead be Prospera, played by Helen Mirren.
And while some of the cast choices are exactly what you’d expect (how could Jeremy Irons NOT be in this?) that doesn’t make them any less great. Djimon Hounsou, Russell Brand, Alfred Molina, Ben Wishaw and Felicity Jones are all on board, with Geoffrey Rush still in negotiations to join .
Whatever flights of fancy Taymor indulges, I can’t imagine that this will hold a candle to the insanity (some would say absurd self-indulgence) of Prospero’s Books, Peter Greenaway’s Tempest adaptation. (A film which still holds the crown for most walkouts I’ve ever seen in a paying audience…and at a rep house, no less, where people should’ve known what they were paying to see.) But I’m eager to see her play with some of Shakespeare’s weirdest material, especially if she once again does something smart like contracting the Brothers Quay to add a bit of animation.