I, Tonya and Suicide Squad star Margot Robbie and her production company LuckyChap Entertainment are producing a new series which will retell the plays of William Shakespeare as “modern and culturally diverse stories” from a female perspective. The as-yet-untitled series will consist of 10 standalone episodes, and it will be overseen by a creative team of female writers and directors.
“I’m taking a lot of meetings with the lesser-known talent at the moment, the indie film-makers, first- and second-time film-makers, mainly women,” Robbie told the Australian Associated Press. “I’m in a lovely position where I can actually help get things greenlit, so I want to work with people who we haven’t seen yet.”
In a statement, LuckyChap said, “We are thrilled about this Australian partnership as an opportunity to showcase unique, distinctly female voices in writing, and to demonstrate the high quality of the Australian film and television industry. The project will share diverse points of view, from writers representing the different cultures and areas within Australia, which many would not readily associate with works of Shakespeare.” I’m hoping that means they will include writers from the indigenous and Aboriginal populations of Australia, as well as some recent immigrants groups such as those from China, India, and the Philippines.
LuckyChap will partner with the Australian Broadcasting Company, the Australian production company Hoodlum, and ABC Studios International on the project. “We are excited that this female-led team celebrates strong female creative talent, transforming traditional classic tales from a very different era into modern and culturally diverse stories,” said the Australian Broadcasting Company.
Obviously, I’d love to see a series of original stories from female writers and directors. It’d be nice if we didn’t need the catalyst of a dead male author to get this series picked up. But Shakespeare’s a huge part of our collective culture, and as someone who’s pretty shamelessly into outlandish Shakespeare productions that are set in outer space or the ’60s or gangster-era Chicago, I’m also very into the idea of updating and reinterpreting these stories—which were themselves updates and reinterpretations of older stories—into something new and fresh. The canon is there for us to play with and respond to, and I’m excited to see what Robbie’s creative team comes up with.
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