I have very mixed feelings about this.
I loved the original film and I have seen it several times. Joseph Fiennes was great as a young and scrappy Shakespeare who loses his heart to a beautiful young lady. Who could blame him? Gwyneth Paltrow was delightful. The whole film was fun and romantic.
All of the other actors were perfect: Dame Judi Dench, Geoffrey Rush, Colin Firth, and so on. Even Ben Affleck was great!
I didn't know a lot about Shakespeare the man when I saw the film. But even then, I remember thinking that this was a piece of fluff, a charming and intelligent romantic fantasy, but fluff nevertheless. And that bothered me. Because more than the romance and costumes and the music and the occasional excerpts of Shakespeare, I wanted more truth and fact.
In short, I wanted to see an Amadeus for Shakespeare.
I'm still waiting for that.
That's one of the reasons I wrote my adaptations. My adaptation of Hamlet does for Shakespeare what Amadeus does for Mozart. As you can read in my adaptations I don't think the whole life story of Shakespeare can be fit into just a single film. And I think that to repeat a few lines from one or two of his plays is just plain lazy.
So my adaptations spread the story of his life over several chapters, with as much of the plays as possible, so we can finally understand the plays and the man together.
And if you know anything about Mozart you know that the filmmakers took great liberties with his story. I still can't quite get over the fact that they translated his operas into English for the film!
My adaptations tell as truthful an account of Shakespeare's life as possible.
I applaud Mr. Weinstein for wanting to continue with this property. I am sure that he would get a large audience.
But I think there is an even larger audience that wants to see a real story about the real man, and the brilliant plays he wrote.
David B. Schajer
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