Discuss: Can Emile Hirsch Pull Off ‘Hamlet?’


Yes, loving readership public! I’m torn. The news that Emile Hirsch is going to play perhaps the most famous role in theater (other than the role of Caterpillar #4 made famous by yours truly in South Texas Regional Theater Company’s production of “The Adorable Fucking Caterpillar”) has thrown me for a loop.

The Pros:

  • It’s Emile Hirsch, and the guy has acted his ass off in everything from Milk to Into the Wild. Maybe the guy could pull off Hamlet.
  • Ron Nyswaner is writing the project. If you don’t recognize the name, he wrote a little picture called Philadelphia that you may remember. Plus, I imagine that his nickname is “The Swan” which has to be cool.

The Cons:

  • It’s a contemporary take on the story which means it’s either going to be the son of a major corporation owner having to avenge that father’s death at the hands of a murderous, greedy uncle who wants to take over the empire or it’s going to be set somewhere that still has royalty and existential problems.
  • It has no choice but to steal a page from Romeo + Juliet‘s play book, and won’t be able to include the line, “Bring me my longsword Ho!”
  • Including the original text in a contemporary setting is hard to pull off, but not including the original text diminishes the importance of the project.
  • It’s development has given Variety a reason to use the pseudo-word “Contempo,” and that bugs the hell out of me.

The Variable:

  • Catherine Hardwicke is directing.

In other news, I’ve decided to start writing everything in bullet points. I’ll also be looking for an intern that doesn’t mind receiving all orders in bullet point-form.

I’ve laid out the even-handed arguments on both sides. It could be a great, visionary film with a fantastic young actor playing a truly difficult role. Or it could be a foolish exercise in hubris wherein the director of Twilight sets out with a young actor to make the 80th-or-so adaptation of Shakespeare’s most well-known play.

I need to know what you think. Extra points for bullet…points.

What do you think? There really was no way around using the word “points” twice in that last sentence eh?

A veteran of writing about movies for nearly a decade, Scott Beggs has been the Managing Editor of Film School Rejects since 2009. Despite speculation, he is not actually Walter Mathau's grandson. See? He can't even spell his name right.

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