Mike Fleming

UPDATE: Joss Whedon has issued a press release that fills in the blanks on Much Ado About Nothing, the film he shot in secret but revealed last night in a Twitter post. Here are the salient details: Bellwether Films, which issued the initial Tweet, is a micro-studio hatched by Whedon and Kai Cole for the production of small, indie narratives for all media, “embracing a DIY ethos and newer technologies for, in this particular case, a somewhat older story.” Whedon’s film is a black and white contemporized rendering of Shakespeare’s classic comedy, adapted and directed by Whedon. This version, shot in 12 days “entirely on location in exotic Santa Monica,” stars Amy Acker (who starred in the Whedon-scripted Cabin in the Woods) and Alexis Denisof as Beatrice and Benedick, the world’s least likely lovers headed for their inevitable tumble into love. “The text is to me a deconstruction of the idea of love, which is ironic, since the entire production is a love letter, to the text, to the cast, even to the house it’s shot in,” Whedon writes. Nathan Fillion is Dogberry, Clark Gregg (who’s in the Whedon-helmed The Avengers) is Leonato, Fran Kranz (Cabin in the Woods), is Claudio and Reed Diamong is Don Pedro. Whedon expects the film to hit the festival circuit next year, “because it is fancy.” It was also clearly low budget, he hinted, explaining that the cast was “all dedicated to the idea that this story bears retelling, that this dialogue is as fresh and intoxicating as any being written, and that the joy of working on a passion project surrounded by dear friends, admired colleagues and an atmosphere of unabashed rapture far outweighs their hilariously miniature paychecks.”

EARLIER, 4:16 AM: This happened while I was asleep, but last night, Bellwether Pictures tweeted that Joss Whedon has wrapped Much Ado About Nothing, a movie he’d been been filming in secret. Whedon, who also fit in the Marvel superhero pic The Avengers, has a cast that includes Reed Diamond, Sean Maher, Ashley Johnson, Nathan Fillion and Clark Gregg. There’s a graphic of a guy in snorkel gear chest-deep in water, holding a martini, and the one-sheet says the Whedon film is “Based on a play.” Looks like a contemporary version of Shakespeare’s work about two pairs of lovers, one wide-eyed and the other cynical, and how they are manipulated in ways that test their relationships.