Joss Whedon’s delightful, modernized adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing is out today, and while the writer/director certainly has plenty on his plate — another Avengers, that S.H.I.E.L.D. series, more Dr. Horrible (let’s all just will that into existence) — he adapts Shakespeare so well that there’s already talk of him returning to the Bard. “There are other things I would love to accomplish,” he told the Austin Chronicle, “but doesn’t want to do Hamlet? Hamlet and Twelfth Night are probably the two contenders.” For those of us who love both Joss and Shakespeare, the idea of continuing mash-ups is a delicious one — particularly since it’s safe to assume he’d continue casting actors familiar from the “Whedonverse.” And thus, a few suggestions for other Shakespeare plays ripe for the Whedon treatment, and who might best fill their roles.
For Mr. Whedon’s chief contender, he’s going to have to cast carefully; the role of the melancholy Dane is one of the toughest in the English language. This is heavier stuff than his actors are usually forced to shoulder — but there’s something about James Marsters, aka Spike, that makes him seem capable of the dramatic lifting. In later years, he nicely captured the role’s tragic underpinnings, and (bonus) we know he can do a faux-British accent, if necessary. And in the role of his tragic victim Ophelia? She’s got a delicateness, physicality, and (ultimately) madness that screams Summer Glau.