Helen Mirren Does Prospera for Julie Taymor

by Melissa Silverstein on May 12, 2010

in Movies,Women Directors

Julie Taymor has taken Shakespeare’s The Tempest and given it a gender redo. USA Today has the first picture of Mirren and she looks great.  The film was shot around Hawaii, and Mirren plays a woman who has “her whole life taken away from her because she was a woman.”

Taymor who has directed several films based on Shakespeare’s plays decided to give the play a gender redo because:

there are actresses like Helen Mirren who never get to play these fantastic parts because they were not written for women… We changed the role. It’s one of the few plays where it not only doesn’t hurt the play, but enhances the play.

I love Julie Taymor.

Disney will distribute the film in December.  It is a left over from Miramax.  I’m glad it will get a solid release.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Tootie May 12, 2010 at 10:31 AM

This is totally the answer. Sandra Bullock in ‘The Proposal’ played on a woman in the stereotypical male tyrant boss role.
Starbuck the womanizing ace pilot was replaced in the rewrite of Battlestar Galactica TV series by a manizing female ace pilot and Katee Sackhoff was outstanding in the role.
So let’s have more rewritten stories where the male is now a female – they’re full of such rich possibilities to both have genuinely interesting content but also play on gender expectations etc.

Opinioness of the World May 12, 2010 at 2:02 PM

This looks fantastic…can’t wait until it comes out!

@Tootie, I could not agree with you more…loved Sandra Bullock in ‘The Proposal’ (which also has a nice age reversal as well since Bullock is roughly 10 years older than Ryan Reynolds) and Kara Thrace/Starbuck was my absolute favorite character (tough yet vulnerable…living life on her own terms) on BSG, which boasted many strong female characters.

Shannon the Movie Moxie May 12, 2010 at 4:44 PM

Really looking forward to this, Julie Taymor *and* Helen Mirren… oh my… it’s going to be awesome.

Not sure I totally agree with the Sandra Bullock/Proposal analogy. As they crazy boss? Yes – that tends to be men. As someone who ‘has to get married’ for some reason or another – that is almost always goes to a lady. But – love seeing female protagonists be they re-written male roles or custom made for the screen!

Chris Evans May 13, 2010 at 10:59 AM

Sandra Bullock flat out said that her role in the Proposal was originally male and she had it changed.

Kate May 13, 2010 at 6:34 PM

Hell yes! I love Shakespeare but it’s obvious that most of his strongest/coolest/most interesting characters are male. What a wonderful change!

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