Looking for Richard, Al Pacino's film take on William Shakespeare's Richard III, has been the talk of the Cannes Film Festival in France.
Taken along with Kenneth Branagh's forthcoming star-studded movie of Hamlet it means Shakespeare fans will have a great deal to look forward to on movie screens this fall.
In a style that might recall the 1994 film Vanya on 42nd Street, Looking for Richard is a quasi-documentary about Pacino's performance as Richard III, interspersed with discussion's of the role and the play's relevance today. It's the story of a ruthless man's climb to power over the bodies of all (including his brothers) who stand in his way.
Fox Searchlight films reportedly will released the film in the U.S. later this year.
Pacino will return to the U.S. and go right into rehearsals for his Broadway appearance in Eugene O'Neill's Hughie, which begins previews July 25 after an engagement July 2-21 at Long Wharf Theatre in Connecticut. Branagh's film Hamlet comes just six years after Mel Gibson's. But Branagh has made a career in that time appearing in (and often directing) acclaimed movie adaptations of Shakespeare, including Much Ado About Nothing, Henry V and Othello.
Branagh directs and plays the title character in Hamlet, which is planned for release by Castle Rock Entertainment in late December.
The film co-stars features Kate Winslet as Ophelia, Julie Christie as Gertrude, Derek Jacobi as Claudius and Charlton Heston as the Player King.
But the film will benefit from a small galaxy of major international stars doing cameos in the tiniest of supporting roles. These include Billy Crystal (First Gravedigger), Gerard Depardieu (Reynaldo), Jack Lemmon (Marcellus) and Robin Williams (Osric).