Many thought the modern revival of 3D was set to reach it’s Shakespearean apex with the release of Avatar later this year. Nope! You’re getting actual Shakespeare, bitches.
Using the “Shakespeare 4 Kidz” (fuck you, Z) musical adaptations as a base, Mark Thomas and Elsinore Films plan to bring a whopping 6 plays to the screen, starting with Hamlet. The target audience will be the “Harry Potter and High School Musical market.” Hamlet is a natural place to start, according to Variety.
“Hamlet” lends itself to a 3-D treatment. The producers hope to include a ghost that hovers in front of the aud’s eyes, cannon fire that flies into the auditorium and a sword fight that appears to happen all around viewers.”
…yeah, okay. Let’s roll with that then.
After Thomas’ Hamlet shoves the bard deeper into your eyes than ever before, Macbeth, Romeo & Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Twelfth Night, and The Tempest are set to follow. But wait, there’s more! The production of Romeo & Juliet will be filming a reality TV show that documents the search for undiscovered actors for the lead roles. Presumably, the show will be released as a lead up to the release of that particular film.
It’s been stated by many (including myself) that the true test of 3D’s cinematic value is finding out what it can do to enhance a narrative not filled with special effects. The animated world has given us Up and Coraline, both making good cases for the format’s ability to bring depth to a frame. Mixed among the disappointment and hype and bullshit and sarcasm that surrounded the Avatar Comic Con footage, was the nugget that Cameron might have put enough genuine thought into the format to make use of it. But fuck all that- Mark Thomas and Co. are going to show us how 3D can take stories that represent the literary excellence mankind can achieve, and bring us closer to the universal themes that permeate the work.
Or they’ll take the most shallow elements of the story and poke them in our eyes and stuff. Probably that.