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Mirren and co. give into Taymor’s ‘Tempest’

With The Tempest, Taymor is proposing that she switch the gender of the main character in Shakespeare’s play, making Prospero into Prospera. Helen Mirren is onboard to play the lead role

The last time Julie Taymor brought Shakespeare to the big screen it was her little seen (at least in my necks of the woods) directorial debut called Titus. For her fourth feature length outing, Taymor is returning to the original material writing source, and in the same measure, top billing her feature with a strong female character as she did in Frida and potentially adding much of the familiar visual candy as we last saw in Across the Universe
 
With The Tempest, Taymor is proposing that she switch the gender of the main character in Shakespeare’s play, making Prospero into Prospera. Helen Mirren is on board to play the lead role – a castaway leader of an island with her daughter Miranda (Felicity Jones) and a shipwrecked crew full of Prospera’s enemies in tow. The island’s other inhabitants include Djimon Hounsou as the deformed slave Caliban and Ben Wishaw as the airy spirit Ariel. Russell Brand plays Trinculo, a jester; Jeremy Irons, as Alonso, the King of Naples; and Alfred Molina as the drunken butler Stephano. Geoffrey Rush would play Gonzalo, a royal adviser and old ally of Prospera’s.

The Miramax film will be shooting in Hawaii next month. Bob Chartoff, Lynn Hendee and Julia Taylor-Stanley are producing.

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Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at IONCINEMA.com, established in 2000. A regular at Sundance, Cannes, and Venice, Eric holds a BFA in film studies from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013, he served on the narrative competition jury at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson’s "This Teacher" (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022, he was a New Flesh Juror for Best First Feature at the Fantasia International Film Festival. Current top films for 2023 include The Zone of Interest (Glazer), Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell (Pham Thien An), Totem (Lila Avilés), La Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher), All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (Raven Jackson).

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