It seems these days that we don’t so much make new movies, we just remake old ones. Here’s one list of 25 or so remakes either coming or already here, and there are plenty more depending on how you count.
Is the same true with Shakespeare? The man was involved in 38ish plays, all public domain, that most people will argue represent the foundation of English literature. Yet we keep making Macbeth/Lear/Hamlet/Dream over and over again. Why?
Is it an issue with moviemakers? Is it part of their pattern to find what works and just keep doing it? Why take a chance on Cymbeline if you can get Al Pacino signed on for Merchant again?
Or, to tie this in to the Timon thread, is it an issue with the source material? Is it simply the case that some of the plays are harder (if not impossible) to make a good movie out of?
I’m very curious to see how Ralph Fiennes’ Coriolanus does when it comes out. But if it succeeds will that be due more to the all-star cast, to the fact they’ve already attached “Hurt Locker” imagery to it to capitalize on a known quantity, or because the source material is that strong? For that matter, does it matter? Should we just call it a good thing that we get another mainstream movie of a, for better or worse, lesser known play? Whatever puts the butts in the seats, I always say. Waiting to hear “So, did you see Coriolanus yet?” come out of a random stranger’s mouth.