A few weeks ago, when Much Ado About Nothing official premiered, Entertainment Weekly ran a short article about who Joss Whedon should look to for inspiration. They asked his actors from Much Ado and they came up with some interesting suggestions. Alexis Denisof recommended something by Charles Dickens. Reed Diamond and Clark Gregg wanted to do more Shakespeare, specifically Twelfth Night and my personal favorite, The Tempest. Several people brought up Anton Chekhov, perhaps Three Sisters. I’m sure there are many plays that he could adapt in a similar style, in a short period of time with a tiny budget, and I hope that more Shakespeare is in his future.
But I nearly spit water all over my computer screen when I read that Joss, himself, said, “I’m a huge Dickens fan.” Like most people, I had to read Dickens in school (and everyone knows A Christmas Story), and though I hated Great Expectations when I read it in 8th grade, one of my most powerful reading-related moments in my life came as I read A Tale of Two Cities. It was on a class trip the week before classes started, and I had to finish my summer reading, which included A Tale of Two Cities. I vividly remember reading the final chapters of if, sitting on top of a ruined fort by the beach as the salt wind whipped the pages, reading by flashlight and sobbing my eyes out (losing a contact in the process yet unable to stop reading).
I realize that A Tale of Two Cities is on a more epic scale than something like Twelfth Night (which I also want him to make), but the idea of joining my favorite modern writer with one of my favorite novelists is too good to pass up. I love the thought of the Whedon-Shakespeare troupe, who would hopefully branch out beyond just the Bard. Perhaps someday Joss can take on Dickens in a way that he would be satisfied with. But I want to know what you think:
What should Joss Whedon do next (other than The Avengers and SHIELD of course)? More Shakespeare? Is there an author or playwright he should generally target, or a specific work you want to see adapted? Should he get back to original works of his own? More Dr. Horrible or something entirely new? Let me know in the comments!