It was announced some time ago that Julie Taymor (visionary director of Titus, Across The Universe, and Broadway’s The Lion King) is embarking on a new Shakespearean movie project: The Tempest. Only this production has Helen Mirren as the lead character of Prospero.
Changing a character’s gender is old news, there’s not much of a story there (except that it hasn’t really been done on film yet. I can’t really tell what that means if it will be any different than in a theatrical production). What I would like to throw out there for discussion is what different themes and ideas are present with a female prospero? The whole overbearing father bit is now absent, but in modern times perhaps the idea of an over-powerful magical mother might be appealing – just like it Desperate Housewives… but with magic.
More of the cast has been rumored or announced, and includes such screen favorites as Geoffrey Rush, Alfred Molina, Jeremy Irons, and more. An article announcing this news on ScreenCrave.com shows how excited the author is about this cast, calling it “The best cast ever!”. Well, it certainly looks promising.