First Footage From Joss Whedon's 'Much Ado About Nothing' Debuts; 'Cabin In The Woods' Goes Direct-to-Video In Australia & New Zealand

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by Drew Taylor
April 30, 2012 11:35 AM
6 Comments
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On yesterday's "Sunday Morning" show on CBS, in a feature about "The Avengers" writer/director/super-geek Joss Whedon the first footage from "Much Ado About Nothing," his micro-budgeted Shakespeare adaptation that he shot in a two week window during post-production on "The Avengers," debuted. And it's pretty much exactly what you'd expect, the small scale antidote to his superhero romp, which is poised to be the summer's first bona fide blockbuster (and with good reason – it rules). But things aren't so happy everywhere in Whedonville, as his recent horror movie Rubik's Cube "Cabin In The Woods" is getting an inglorious debut in other parts of the world.

First, the "Much Ado About Nothing" footage – fast-forward to the six minute mark if you want to take a gander, although the whole video is pretty interesting, especially because you get some quotes from his wife Kai, who seems to be always alluded to but never seen. We just see a couple of glimpses of scenes, including one with "Dollhouse"/"Cabin In The Woods" nerd Fran Kranz spitting verse as Claudio (and Clark Gregg from "The Avengers," as Leonato, looking on and nodding). Since the movie was shot in Whedon's home, everyone is dressed in suits, not ultra-modern, but still pretty modern. We also see a bit of a party scene and glimpse another Whedon favorite, "Angel" star Amy Acker, as Beatrice. Apparently the movie was also shot in black-and-white, which probably adds a certain amount of glamorous production value to a movie that was shot in 12 days.

After the clip we see Whedon walking around his house, pointing out where scenes were shot – "The masked ball is all out here," he notes, clearly proud of both the production and his home.

But not everything is rosy for Whedon, as late last week it was confirmed by Village Roadshow, the production/distribution entity most known in America for co-financing the "Matrix" movies with Joel Silver and Warner Bros., is sending "Cabin in the Woods," which Whedon co-wrote (with director Drew Goddard) and produced, direct-to-DVD in Australia and New Zealand. The horror! The horror!

As HitFix points out, this is baffling for a number of reasons, first and foremost the fact that "Cabin In The Woods" would be coming out in those territories AFTER "The Avengers." Everyone will go see (and love) "The Avengers." Wouldn't you be able to work that higher profile for Whedon into the promotion of "Cabin In The Woods?" Everyone was so worried about how they could market a movie that corkscrews in on itself like "Cabin In The Woods" does, well, here's your hook – "From the director of 'The Avengers.'"

The other really confounding issue is that there is a New Zealand actress and an Australian actor in the cast – Anna Hutchison as Jules, aka the girl that makes out with the wolf head, is from New Zealand and Chris Hemsworth aka Thor (!) is from Australia. But no, direct-to-video you go, amazing horror send-up!

Oh, and in the same report, it seems that the Village Roadshow backed "The Chernobyl Diaries," the found-footage thriller based around the site of the infamous 1986 nuclear power plant meltdown, has also been relegated to home video in those territories too. But that makes sense since it's likely going to be total balls.

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6 Comments

  • jesuis | September 10, 2012 12:22 AMReply

    Does anyone know what is happening with Much Ado in terms of distribution in NZ? Is it also going to go straight to video?

  • jingmei | May 1, 2012 12:09 AMReply

    Thanks for the background introduction about this interesting quirky director. I'm more up to Much Ado About Nothing, in the meantime such intelligence just gonna control the whole ambience of a commercial blockbuster.

  • mickche | April 30, 2012 7:36 PMReply

    I'll just add that horror films do poorly in Australia. There is just not a market for horror/genre films, and Roadshow probably looked at US box-office and decided it was not worth the investment given the upcoming slate of larger-releases.

  • Mr Anonymous | April 30, 2012 4:12 PMReply

    That is absolutely suicide! You have Joss Whedon, writer and director of The Avengers. You have Anna Hutchison (New Zealand), you have bona fida star in Chris Hemsworth aka Thor (Australian) and you have a smart horror movie and it goes straight to video/dvd? Fucking mental!

  • Yod | May 1, 2012 12:13 AM

    Thanks for repeating what was written in the article.

  • J | April 30, 2012 4:08 PMReply

    I am more exited about Much Ado then I am for The Avengers... go figure.

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