Joss Whedon’s ‘Much Ado About Nothing’

Joss Whedon’s adaptation of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing had its U.S. premiere yesterday at SXSW, and its trailer was also just released. To commemorate, the Much Ado official party bus:

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I had the opportunity to go to the world premiere of Much Ado at the Toronto International Film Festival, and I can tell you, it is incredible. I have written on it extensively for my own work, but don’t feel like sifting through all those pages to find something short enough and pertinent enough to share with you right now. So instead, I’ll just leave you with the beautifully jazzy trailer and extend an invitation to celebrate with me this wonderful film.

Huzzah!

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FUO: A ‘Firefly’-Inspired MMORPG

I have some great news for Firefly fans everyone. The ‘verse lives on. DarkCryo has kicked off an IndieGoGo campaign to help fund the creation of a Firefly-inspired MMORPG. Now, I’ve never allowed myself to get into an MMORPG before, partly because I have a strange aversion to games that require you to level up (Just let me fight the damn thing now! I don’t want to sit around killing low-level creatures all day just to advance in the game!), and partly because I know that eventually it would consume way too much of my time, but I have no doubt in my mind that I will dive wholeheartedly into FUO if it manages to get made.

130208-fuo2The coolest thing about this IndieGoGo campaign is that the perks for contributing are awesome. Just $10 gets you a digital download of the Alpha release, guaranteed reserved seating to future Beta release, and a lifetime of play with zero monthly or annual subscription fees. For TEN DOLLARS. I contributed. I hope you will too. It’s also cool that it’s a fixed funding campaign, which means if they don’t reach their goal (at the time of this writing, they’re only at $6,708 of the needed $135,000, with 42 days left in the campaign), then you get to keep your pledged fundage. So what is there to lose? Nothing! And an amazing game to gain!

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The important thing about this project is that it is Firefly-inspired, not an official Firefly MMORPG, which means that DarkCryo is avoiding any direct references to actual places or people in Firefly, but instead creating a universe that feels like the ‘verse. This is actually an incredible asset to the game, not only because it keeps them out of the mirky waters of copyright law, but also because it gives the game’s creators the freedom to develop as they like, to create a whole new world (queue Aladdin music) for Browncoats to explore. When you think about it, this is definitely the next best step for Firefly. The ‘verse is extremely well-suited to an adaptation into the video game format especially because of its ability to house a seemingly infinite number of stories and worlds and adventures. The show was cut off so early that it was only able to plant the seed of the ‘verse in our hearts and minds, and now it’s time for it to grow into a massive(ly multiplayer), fully realized online universe.

So what do you think? Are you as excited about this as I am? Are you going to chip in and help this thing get made?

FUO: Why you should care about this Indie MMORPG
Scormus @ Pthppt!

130208-article-fuo“Today I’d like to talk a bit about FUO, the upcoming MMORPG from DarkCryo. I’ve talked a bit lately about this Indie MMORPG on my podcast “Massive Failure”, mostly about the controversy that rose up about it recently, due to some shoddy reporting from another gaming blog. Regardless, during those shows I referred to FUO as “Firefly Universe Online”, and I was in error to do so.”

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Can Adaptations Be Better Than Their Originals?

Although we are in an era of shocking un-originality, inundated with sequels, spin-offs, and adaptations, sometimes there is some value in the “derivative” practice of adaptation. There are many instances where an adapted work is much more successful than its original, and the article below lists and discusses 14 such examples, complete with clips for demonstration.

The best example, in my opinion, is Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Joss Whedon’s original concept was a film that was made in 1992, but was unfortunately skewed from his intentions simply by having the wrong director. Whedon intended the film to be taken seriously, while Fran Rubel Kuzui turned it into a campy, cheesy teen horror flick. When given the opportunity to turn it into a show, then, Whedon indisputably redeemed Buffy, producing the clever, witty, and insightful series that lasted seven seasons and is now in its 9th season in comic book form, continuing to enchant audiences to this day.

What are your favorite examples of adaptations that are better than their originals?

Clear eyes, full hearts, eh, I’ll just wait for the TV show: 14 TV series that usurped their original film versions
Jason Heller, Joel Keller, Noel Murray, Nathan Rabin, Tasha Robinson, and Scott Tobias @ A.V. Club

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In the hierarchy of entertainment, television adaptations are generally considered poor relations of the films that spawned them. Oftentimes adaptations of films never make it past the pilot stage, like an ill-fated 1997 television version of Fargo starring Edie Falco. Even when television adaptations do make it onto a network schedule, they seldom make it past a single season. But every once in a while, a television adaptation—official, loose, or otherwise—usurps its big-screen version in the public’s imagination.

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