We're about to see Prospero become a woman in Julie Taymor's 'The Tempest,' and now some of William Shakespeare's iconic history plays are getting the science fiction treatment. The upcoming film 'Henry 5' will squeeze three substantial plays -- 'Henry IV, Part 1,' 'Henry IV, Part 2' and 'Henry V' into one feature-length battle extravaganza, and though a reference to Mars rests in 'Henry V,' this sci-fi tale will have a more homegrown feel.
Set in an apocalyptic landscape, the narrative twists are pretty cool, but the real story is in the machismo + serious acting skills casting. Sticking to some of the play's roots -- most notably the turmoil between England and France -- the roster is a who's who of masculine British and French talent: Michael Caine, Ray Winstone, Vinnie Jones, Gerard Depardieu and Derek Jacobi.
Arclight Films is cooking up this feature, and they've revealed the details over at their studio website. Before anything else, they have listed a disclaimer stating that "credits may not be contractual," so chances are, someone in the group hasn't signed on the dotted line yet. (And let's hope they do, soon!)
Michael Anderson has signed on as director, and though that might give you visions of 'Logan's Run' and 'Around the World in 80 Days,' this Anderson is a member of Ridley Scott Associates. Though a newcomer to the Hollywood biz, his resume includes Discovery channel shorts and work for National Geographic, which suggests a more nature-based film landscape. He wrote the feature, along with scribes Andrew Hislop and Steve Wilkinson, and the plot summary states:
"In an age of apocalypse, in a land without a leader, a dissolute prince finds redemption when he crushes a rebellion that threatens to destroy his father's kingdom. But upon assuming the throne himself, he immediately engineers a war against a neighboring state to slake his lust for power.
Despite his enemy possessing weaponry rendering their forces almost invincible, the newly crowned king seizes a glorious victory from the jaws of defeat by ruthlessness and cunning. But for all his wiles there's one thing the young monarch has overlooked. Just as he's prepared to do whatever it takes to ensure victory, so is his enemy..."Though it suggests a complete lack of the same English turmoil that Shakespeare outlined, the casting hints that some of it will live on in accents. ...unless it's merely coincidence that we've got four Brits and a Frenchie on the roster. And will this mean more battle action for Caine, who recently kicked lots of loser butt in 'Harry Brown'? We can only hope.
What do you think? Are you ready for some older greats to pull 'Henry' into sci-fi?
[via Production Weekly's Twitter Feed]