Woo hoo, this totally made my week! Ok, so it’s almost Friday which in and of itself is a very good thing but when I saw this on IMDb mid morning Thursday, I almost jumped out of my seat! Just yesterday I was desperately hoping for him NOT to go the graphic novel route, but actually do something small and poignant. Well, wish granted!
For GB fans, we know what Coriolanus means to him. It’s the first acting gig he’s ever got after he was fired just one week shy of becoming a lawyer. He’s told this story numerous times in interviews, including just yesterday to Baltimore WJZ, how actor Steven Berkoff — who later became his co-star in Attila — let him audition despite his zero acting experience. If I remember correctly, he also told Jay Leno that his performance was rather over-the-top, but he impressed Berkoff enough that he actually got the part! This pic I found on Flickr looks like a scan from the actual program from the London play, click for a larger version with his short bio.
Ain’t it cool‘s ‘Quint’ was actually on the phone with the actor himself who confirmed his involvement in Ralph Fiennes’ directing debut:
It looks like I might be doing Coriolanus, the Shakespeare play, the movie version… the adaptation of. Ralph Fiennes will be directing and playing Coriolanus, and I’d be playing Tullus Aufidius his nemesis!
Quint added this bit of info: “Of course he said “nemesis” with the evil voice on, which made it sound even more badass.” Ha! That sounds like GB all right.
Here’s a brief summary of Shakespeare’s least-produced play:
Coriolanus is a powerful political drama about a Roman general whose arrogance leads to his own destruction. Caius Martius earned the name Coriolanus when he defeated the Volscians, led by Tullus Aufidius, in the Italian city of Corioles. Coriolanus was never a man for the people, which propelled the Roman citizens — under the influence of two conniving tribunes — to drive him into exile. It’s then that he turned to his former nemesis Aufidius out of vengeance and contempt for his own people. Though they consider each other blood enemies, Coriolanus actually respected Aufidius and regarded him as equal in martial nobility (this kind of reminds me of Attila the Hun’s relationship with Roman general Flavius Aetius).
So basically, Coriolanus is like an antihero, I mean he’s obviously arrogant and treacherous, not to mention his Oedipus complex toward his manipulative mother, Volumnia. I can’t wait to see Fiennes going toe-to-toe against Butler, clad in Roman garb and bellowing Shakespeare. William Hurt and Vanessa Redgrave have been cast, and the screenplay will be penned by John Logan (Gladiator, The Last Samurai, Sweeney Todd). Wow, this is what I’m talking about, Gerry. I’m psyched to see him surround himself with such thespians! Though I may not be as harsh as this article about putting GB on movie star probation, I must admit I wasn’t too keen on his role choices of late. So this is definitely a good step in the right direction.