Brush Up Your Shakespeare: Henry V To Get Post-Apocalyptic SF Treatment

In what seems a strangely inevitable move, Shakespeare’s classic Henry V is going to be filmed as a post-apocalyptic SF/action movie titled Henry5. As of now, Michael Caine, Ray Winstone, and Derek Jacobi are attached to act in it, which lends it a proper air of Britishness. Gerard Depardieu is also attached, but considering the French King is a character, that makes a bit of sense. The presence of Vinnie Jones, most famous for getting thrown out of a soccer game quicker than anyone else in history as well as a series of increasingly terrible action movies, makes one wonder whether the Shakespeare and the science fiction are going to give way completely to the action.

The talent behind the scenes have a loose association with Ridley Scott, which doesn’t necesssarily mean anything in this case—since Ridley Scott doesn’t have any direct connection to this movie—but is a slightly encouraging bit of reflected glory. Also, it bears considering, as nearly every news piece about Henry5 has pointed out, that Shakespeare and science fiction have met before, on Forbidden Planet, and Forbidden Planet is (to use a technical industry term) awesome.

Henry5’s future depends on whether, at the American Film Market, it can get enough buyers from enough different regions interested enough to buy distribution rights to give the filmmakers sufficient money to proceed. This process is by no means automatic, and occasionally takes time, so the cast might end up changing due to scheduling conflicts. Personally, as a lover of SF, bad SF, and Shakespeare, I wish the filmmakers the best, because seeing this with a bunch of cranky theatre people sounds like an extremely fun evening.

Danny Bowes is a playwright, filmmaker and blogger. He is also a contributor to and


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