EXCLUSIVE: Michael Almereyda’s Cymbeline has a King in Ed Harris and now it has its Queen in Milla Jovovich. The actress has been added to the cast of the biker gang and bad cops update of the William Shakespeare play with Harris, Ethan Hawke and Penn Badgley. In the play, the Queen schemes to move her own son from a previous marriage onto the throne at the expense of the orphan Posthumus and the King’s daughter. Badgley will play Posthumus in the new version of Cymbeline. Best know for her role of killing machine Alice in her battles against the Umbrella Corporation in the Resident Evil franchise, Jovovich has acting as well as action chops. She starred opposite Robert De Niro and Edward Norton in the 2010 John Curran-directed Stone, among other roles. Not that Jovovich is done with Resident Evil. Sony’s Screen Gems has scheduled the sixth film in the $900 million worldwide grossing series for a September 12, 2014 release. Having signed with the agency back in February, Jovovich is repped by CAA, Untitled Entertainment and lawyer Steve Warren.
Thirteen years after updating Hamlet to a modern day NYC setting, Ethan Hawke is reteaming with writer-director Michael Almereyda (Nadja, New Orleans, Mon Amour, William Eggleston in the Real World) on William Shakespeare’s Cymbeline. Hawke will star in the contemporary-set romance set against the backdrop of a war between dirty cops and drug-dealing bikers, in what’s being described as Sons of Anarchy meets ROMEO + JULIET. Michael Benaroya will produce for Benaroya Pictures, which is fully financing the project. Anthony Katagas, who also worked with Hawke and Almereyda on Hamlet, will produce for Keep Your Head Productions. Benaroya’s Ben Sachs is executive producer on the film.
Hawke reunites with the Hamlet gang as he’s enjoying a hot streak following this year’s Before Midnight for Sony Pictures Classics and Universal’s The Purge. He’ll next star in WB’s Getaway with Selena Gomez before returning to the stage for more of the Bard in Lincoln Center’s Macbeth, debuting in November. He is repped by CAA and The Schiff Company. Filming on Cymbeline begins August 19 in NYC. Benaroya’s International Film Trust is handling international sales.