As if The Godfather saga wasn’t epic enough, Al Pacino is going to tackle William Shakespeare’s masterpiece, King Lear.
Variety reports that Pacino will play the title role in director Michael Radford’s adaptation of tale about an “aging monarch who selects his successor by parsing his kingdom in three parts, ruled by his trio of daughters. Two of them are scheming connivers who flatter their father, while the one loving daughter, Cordelia, refuses to play that game and is exiled. The king ultimately loses everything.”
Barry Navidid, producer of the film, said “Al has been offered this role many times over the years, but didn’t feel ready,” Navidi said. “He’s ready now. The film will be true to its period, very similar to the classical look of ‘Merchant of Venice.’ Michael came up with the most brilliant adaptation, and Al and I flipped for it.”
After getting poor reviews in Righteous Kill and 88 Minutes, this seems like the kick in the pants that one of the greatest living actors needs. Pacino is always at his best when chewing up the screen in larger than life roles, and King Lear is about as grand as one can get. It will challenge Pacino as an actor, seeing as Shakespeare is never easy to handle, and the role of Lear is one of the most complex characters ever. But we have a feeling Pacino will be up to the challenge. He has been Satan before, for crying out loud. And I will stand up in the theater and applaud if I hear, “Who is it that can tell me who I am? Hoo-ah!”
Would you watch Al Pacino as King Lear? What is your favorite play by William Shakespeare?