According to Daily Variety (Oct. 9), a contemporary retelling of Hamlet, starring Ethan Hawke in the title role and Kyle MacLachlan ("Blue Velvet", "Twin Peaks") as Claudius, is in the works. Also featured in the cast will be playwright-turned-actor Sam Shepard as the ghost, Julia Stiles as Ophelia, Diane Venora as Gertrude and Bill Murray as Polonius.
Hawke recently starred in the Steppenwolf revival of Shepard's Pulitzer Prize winning Buried Child, although he was unable to make the Broadway transfer.
The new Hamlet film, produced by Andrew Fierberg and Amy Hobby, will be directed by Michael Almereyda.
Recent Hamlet film adaptations include the four hour 1996 version directed and starring Kenneth Branagh and Franco Zeffirelli's 1990 version starring Mel Gibson.
-- By Sean McGrath