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Cymbeline film descends into Anarchy | Bard in Multimedia

By February 7, 2015 One Comment

Ethan Hawke stars in Anarchy (formerly called Cymbeline).

What’s in a name? Does the rose smell as sweet if called Anarchy? Apparently! Cymbeline just isn’t a catchy enough title for the producers of Shakespeare’s lesser-known work starring Ethan Hawke, Ed Harris, Dakota Johnson and Milla Jovovich. Yep, the title has been changed to Anarchy. Why? Perhaps the producers are trying to capitalize on the hit TV show Sons of Anarchy? Regardless, Shakespeare’s title is out. This contemporary take on Cymbeline replaces kings and queens with outlaw bikers, dirty cops and a drug lord. This doesn’t mean that Shakespeare’s plot is completely lost: Johnson plays Imogen, the drug king’s daughter, who is in love with Penn Badgley’s character Posthumus. Iachimo (Hawke) makes a bet that he can seduce Posthumus’ love. When Iachimo plan doesn’t go exactly as planned, he is not dissuaded from his path of destruction. He improvises in a dastardly way. The producers have released a new trailer as well on YouTube. The overall feel (gritty, chaos) is the same as the original, but this one is a bit more focused. Anarchy comes to theaters March 13, 2015.


Author Deborah Voorhees

I am the writer and director of the indie film Billy Shakespeare, which asks, “What if Shakespeare never existed until now?” I also create music videos, shorts, and other feature films. I am in the editing room on a short from Othello and a film titled Catching Up. Prior to filmmaking, I covered arts and entertainment as a writer and editor for 16 years, mostly with The Dallas Morning News; I taught British Literature to AP and on-level seniors, Acting for Film at Eastern New Mexico State, and privately as a screenwriting coach. Currently, I am the Associate Editor for Multimedia at The Shakespeare Standard.

More posts by Deborah Voorhees

Join the discussion One Comment

  • O4A Films says:

    Intriguing trailer (had to look it up by the way – I believe your link has been taken down by Lionsgate) They curiously (though for possibly good marketing reasons) call Cymbeline: “Undiscovered,” but now with the name “Anarchy,” I wonder if they’ll either gain viewers (people who don’t care for Shakespeare but like Sons of Anarchy) or lose the Shakespeare lovers who don’t realize it’s Cymbeline. Curious gamble anyway – hope it pays off for them. The Previous “Hamlet” with Ethan Hawke and the same director was not entirely well received. I hope this one does better! Here’s the link I found that works! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ndZ8lQ8hL9E

    Thanks for reminding me of this movie!

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