Shakespeare Solved ®


Shakespeare Solved ® is a forthcoming series of novels that covers the Bard's entire life and work.

These novels solve the mysteries surrounding Shakespeare by transporting us back in time, to walk in his shoes, and see his world through his eyes.

Only when we see Shakespeare in his original historical context can we understand what his plays and poems really mean.

This blog explains some of my ideas and discoveries, to prepare for this series of novels.

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The University of Oxford's Bodleian Library & The Royal Shakespeare Company

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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Shakespeare and Daniel Day-Lewis


Why hasn't Daniel Day-Lewis done any Shakespeare on film?





You would think at one point or another that he would have participated in some Shakespeare film adaptation.


It is so easy to imagine him working with Kenneth Branagh and/or Ralph Fiennes.


I did some reading up on him and it came as no surprise that he did Shakespeare on stage -- he joined the Royal Shakespeare Company in about 1983.


He played Romeo, and also Flute in A Midsummer Night's Dream.


In 1989, he played Hamlet at the National Theatre, directed by Richard Eyre. It was an uncut version of the play, and it ran about four hours long.


With Judi Dench as Gertrude


He was joined by Dame Judi Dench as Gertrude. Oh, they must have been terrific together.



As Hamlet


During a performance of this Hamlet, his emotions overcame him, and he couldn't go on. 

He didn't finish the run of the play.

For such a fine actor like him, it must have been quite a moment that brought on such an emotional response, and it must have been terribly excruciatingly difficult for him to decide against finishing the production.


Later he claimed in a TV interview that he had seen the ghost of his own father at that very moment. 


I'm not sure if we are supposed to believe this. I have a feeling that he was being provocative.

But I do find it interesting that he has never performed on stage since.


In any event, I think it is a crime that he has not done any Shakespeare since then.


Perhaps he has just not found the right Shakespeare to do.





I read recently that in 1991, Julia Roberts was going to play Viola in the film Shakespeare in Love. She insisted that the only actor who could play the part of William Shakespeare was Daniel Day-Lewis. 


But he was not interested. When she could not get him to do it, she pulled out of the film, which was set to begin only six weeks later!


It took several more years before Gwyneth Paltrow and Joseph Fiennes made the version that we know today.


I think he would have been remarkable as Shakespeare. But I have a feeling that he didn't want to portray Shakespeare as the film depicts him. He probably wanted to portray a more serious and dramatic Shakespeare.


And even though he has not done any Shakespeare in a very long time, he has done played many characters who are larger-than-life, and almost Shakespearean in their complexity and greatness.

Bill the Butcher in Gangs of New York and Daniel Plainview in  There Will Be Blood come to mind.




There are so many great Shakespeare roles for him to play -- Macbeth, Richard III, Mark Antony in Antony and Cleopatra and/or Julius Caesar, etc. 

But I would love to see him most as Prospero. I think it would be something entirely unlike anything he has done before.

Also, when he is much older, can you imagine him as King Lear? That would be incredible.


But I would also love to see him in my Shakespeare Solved series of films, and seeing him in the world of William Shakespeare, Queen Elizabeth, King James, and see how the plays were originally performed at the Theatre in Shoreditch and the Globe Southwark.




I ask you, is there a better actor for period movies? He seems to have an real passion for acting in different historical periods -- he must really enjoy living as another human being in a distant time and place for months on end. It’s a truly remarkable talent.

I think he would find the Elizabethan world every bit as fascinating as any other in which he has immersed himself.


There are several characters within this world that he could portray, but I would love to see him as one of Shakespeare's fellow actors, who eventually became the King's Men for King James.





I think he would find it a worthy challenge to communicate to us, the modern audience, the stories of struggle and sacrifice, triumph and failure of people like Shakespeare and his family and fellow actors.


I do hope that sooner than later he would lends his truly unique talent to doing some Shakespeare, and perhaps even bring my Shakespeare Solved series of films to life.


What do you think?

If you agree with me that he should do some Shakespeare, please show your support on facebookTwitterPinterestGoogle Plus or Tumblr.

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And your comments are always welcome!

Cheers,



David Schajer


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