Gossip Girl’s Penn Badgley cast in Shakespeare’s Cymbeline

The Hollywood heartthrob is staying put in 21st-century New York for a modern-day adaptation also starring Ed Harris and Ethan Hawke

Gossip Girl’s Penn Badgley is swapping teen drama for Shakespeare – but sticking with a 21st century New York setting.


The 26-year-old Hollywood heartthrob, who played Dan Humphrey in the hit CW drama Gossip Girl, will star alongside Ethan Hawke and Ed Harris in Michael Almereyda’s adaptation of historical play Cymbeline.

But while Badgley may be embracing the Bard, he won’t actually be straying too far from his Gossip Girl days. Almeredyda has decided to give the Shakespeare play a Baz Luhrmann-style treatment and take the action to modern day New York, so there will be no need for tights…

The play is set to be updated to a tale of drug-dealer bikers and corrupt cops in 21st century America, where Cymbeline is more likely to be a gang leader than a king. The upcoming adaption bears similarities to Almereyda’s previous Shakespeare adaptation, Hamlet. The 2000 film also starred Ethan Hawke, and reinvented Hamlet as a film student who tries to avenge the death of his father, the CEO of Denmark Corporation in New York City.

Cymbeline will see Badgley as Posthumous, a character who secretly marries the daughter of the king, while Ed Harris will play King Cymbeline. Ethan Hawke’s role has yet to be revealed.

Shakspeare’s Cymbeline follows the story of King Cymbeline and his daughter Imogen. Imogen secretly marries Posthumous, a man raised in her father’s court, but when Cymbeline finds out he banishes the man from court  and a tragic tale of misunderstandings and mistaken identity ensues.

Filming on Cymbeline is set to start this month in New York