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How do you get someone excited for a film adaptation of Coriolanus with zero interest in Shakespeare? Pack it with a fantastic cast, of course, Not only is the film marking Ralph Fiennes’ directorial debut, but it’ll feature him, Gerard Butler, John Kani, Paul Jesson, James Nesbitt, Ashraf Barhom, Lubna Azabal and Jessica Chastain. Still not convinced? What if I tack on Brian Cox and Vanessa Redgrave?

According to THR, Cox and Redgrave have decided to stick together and go from the BBC production The Day of the Triffids straight to Coriolanus, which begins shooting next week in Belgrade, Serbia. Fiennes leads as the Roman general Coriolanus. Redgrave will play his mother, Volumnia, who insists that he join the Senate. What seems like inevitable success turns into a disaster when conniving tribunes stifle his efforts. Coriolanus grows so upset he incites a riot, which ultimately leads to his expulsion. That’s when he does the unthinkable; join forces with the enemy, Tullus Audfidius (Butler) to seek revenge on Rome. The article doesn’t mention Cox’s role, but perhaps he’ll play one of the two tribunes who plot against Coriolanus.

Here’s where this gets interesting. The article describes the film as “mixing the classical and the contemporary, the movie aims to retain Shakespeare's language, but combining it with modern technology and a contemporary environment.” It’ll be a little odd to hear the characters speak Shakespeare’s tongue in a modern setting, however the concept has some unique potential. As reported by ABC News, Fiennes explained, "We've edited it quite aggressively and this is the case with Shakespeare adaptations, you have to lose a lot of text ... but the narrative lines of Coriolanus are very dynamic." This idea is promising, but it doesn’t sound like it’ll be a good book substitute for students looking to skip the text and just see the film. Bad for students, good for everyone else.

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