‘Hamlet’: Riz Ahmed and Aneil Karia Team for Modern Take on William Shakespeare Tragedy!!

Riz Ahmed and Aneil Karia are taking their chance to dream and running with it. Deadline reports that the two have announced they’ll be teaming up to give a modern spin to William Shakespeare’s timeless tragedy, Hamlet. Ahmed will star as the titular Prince of Denmark in a script from Michael Lesslie, the same scribe who was behind 2015’s retelling of Macbeth. Morfydd Clark, who was nominated for the BAFTA Rising Star award in 2021, and The Favourite star, Joe Alwyn, will play Ophelia and Laertes, respectively.

Ahmed and Karia’s retelling of the vengeful tale will follow the same plot line of the original play, but will put a modern spin on it. Hamlet (Ahmed) will be driven to madness by the ghost of his father who tells his son to avenge his murder. Taking place in London, the film will see Hamlet rubbing elbows with the rich and famous all while attempting to pin the murder on his father’s true killer – Hamlet’s uncle, Claudius.

Following the critical praise of Joel Coen’s release of The Tragedy of Macbeth, it’s no shock that others are ready to pick up the stories of the Bard and bring them to new heights. Following the major success of their Oscar winning short film, The Long Goodbye, Ahmed and Karia decided now was the time to move forward with something Ahmed says has been bubbling away for 10 years. In a joint statement, the two promised that their version would center on “race, privilege, corruption – and whether setting things right means setting fire to the entire old order.” They added that the film will center on a “wealthy British Indian family” who will climb the social ladders in England “at great personal cost.”

Bringing Shakespeare’s pieces into the modern age has been all-the-rage in Hollywood for a number of years. Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet, which starred Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes as the star crossed lovers, garnered an incredible following giving an exciting, colorful, and drug fueled reimagining to the classic tale. Then, of course, there’s Gil Junger’s 1999 rom-com, 10 Things I Hate About You, which was led by Julia Stiles, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and the late Heath Ledger. Based on Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, the film solidified itself as a teenage movie must see with its dynamite cast, well adapted script, and of course – the “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” scene. Even Hamlet has had its new-age reimagination before with Michael Almereyda’s Hamlet, another one featuring Stiles, with Ethan Hawke, Liev Schreiber, Kyle MacLachlan, Bill Murray, and Steve Zahn.

The list goes on and on, but all of this is to say – Shakespeare still works! And with the minds of Ahmed and Karia at the helm, there’s no telling how big of a hit their version of Hamlet will be. As of right now, there’s no release date set, but stay tuned to Collider for more information on this exciting new adaptation.


via Collider

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