Of course, they won’t really be going to Denmark. Hirsch helped develop a modern retelling that will deal with the same themes — a young man who must decide whether or not to avenge his father’s murder by killing his uncle — but will take place in contemporary America. Don’t expect a lot of “To be or not to be” soliloquies, as this “Hamlet” will sport a new script penned by Ron Nyswaner (“Philadelphia”). Joining Hirsch and Hardwicke are “Milk” producers Dan Jinks and Bruce Cohen, who say their goal is “to present the story as a suspense thriller. We want to make it exciting and accessible for an audience today.”
Stripping Shakespeare of the Renaissance dialogue and setting his story in the 21st century is nothing new of course. Ethan Hawke did a modern “Hamlet” that set the story among corporate politics, “Scotland, PA” set “Macbeth” in a drive through restaurant, “O” imagined “Othello” as a high school tragedy, and “10 Things I Hate About You” retold “The Taming of the Shrew” as a high school comedy. That’s not even counting all the films that leave Shakespeare’s words alone, but place them in a contemporary setting (“Romeo + Juliet”). It’s a grand tradition that Hardwicke and Hirsch are entering into, and it’s always interesting to see how someone puts their stamp on the Bard. After all, “Hamlet” features ghosts, insanity and bloody murder… aren’t vampires all the rage these days?
MTV readers and Twilighters, what do you think about Hirsch and Hardwicke teaming up for Hamlet? Do you wish it was a classic version, or do you like the modern remake? Who else would you like to see cast alongside Hirsch?