William Shakespeare’s histories, tragedies and comedies have inspired countless acclaimed adaptations – but did you know these movies owed the great playwright a debt of thanks too? Go on a journey of discovery on the Bard’s birthday…
The Lion King – Hamlet
Walt Disney Studios
Take one of Shakespeare’s most famous plays about a prince taking back the throne from his conniving, murderous uncle after his father’s death. Throw in some pitch perfect savanna creatures and a devastating wildebeest scene and you’ve got The Lion King.
Film reviewer Richard Larson said “The ubiquity of Shakespeare’s original template allows Warm Bodies some leeway in terms of believability, where otherwise it sometimes strains against its own logic.” We say: “Shakespeare with zombies – awesome!”
You can buy the book for Henry IV here and the book for Henry V here.
Big Business (The Comedy of Errors)
Comedic veterans Bette Midler and Lily Tomlin pull double duty to play two sets of mismatched twins and remind us why hairspray was invented.
You can buy Big Business on DVD here and you can get the book for The Comedy of Errors here.
Get Over It (A Midsummer Night’s Dream)
A sort of “before they were famous” ensemble cast of Kirsten Dunst, Colin Hanks, Zoe Saldana and Mila Kunis band together for a Midsummer Night’s Dream play within a Midsummer Night’s Dream-inspired movie.
You can buy Get Over It on DVD here and you can get the book for A Midsummer Night’s Dream here.
Men of Respect (Macbeth)
The story of a man consumed by his need for power made sense as a mobster flick. What doesn’t make sense is a ’90s New York gang members going on about “men of woman born.”