WonderCon Anaheim: “Much Ado About Nothing” Panel

By April 2, 2013

What happens when you love Shakespeare, have great actors at your disposal, and are a renowned filmmaker? You film a spur of the moment movie at your house, of course!

For years, Joss Whedon had talked of making Much Ado About Nothing. And, just when he had no time at all–the Avengers still needed to be edited–he realized the play, though funny, was also “dark and full of pain”–a prerequisite for any Whedon project. And thus began a flurry of e-mails and phone calls resulting in a hastily shot feature film.

Clark Gregg thought Whedon was having a nervous breakdown–did he truly believe he was making a movie at his house? Spencer Treat Clark agreed to the project over a shoddy cell phone connection; he wasn’t sure what he’d committed to. Nick Kocher thought it was a prank, and, even at WonderCon, was still waiting for the other shoe to drop.

The exchange between Sean Maher and Joss Whedon went like this:

Joss: “I need a sexy villain; what sayeth you?”
Sean: “Does this mean you think I’m sexy, Joss?”
Joss: “Stop fishing for compliments!”

Tom Lenk panicked; he’d gotten a C in his college Shakespeare class, and claimed that Shakespeare was “a lot like speaking Swedish.” On set, he’d ask Whedon what his lines meant, and Whedon would defer to Alexis Denisof.

And then came the filming process. A two-week long Shakespeare party, with actors dancing and drinking between takes

The film itself is a commentary on romantic love and its expectations. Fans of Fred and Wesley (Angel) will be pleased to see Amy Acker and Alexis Denisof return as Beatrice and Benedick, one of the film’s main pairings. And, should anyone forget what a great comedic actor Denisof is, the film is a fantastic reminder.