February 4, 2009

Pacino set to play King Lear in film

Hollywood actor Al Pacino has signed on to play the title character in a new film adaptation of William Shakespeare's tragedy King Lear. said Michael Radford wrote the script for and plans to direct the movie. He is expected to start shooting it in Europe this year.

This will be the second time Radford and Pacino team up for a Shakespeare project; they also worked together on the 2004 film version of The Merchant of Venice, in which Pacino played Shylock.

Al has been offered this role many times over the years, but didn't feel ready, producer Barry Navidi told He's ready now. The film will be true to its period, very similar to the classical look of 'Merchant of Venice.' Michael came up with the most brilliant adaptation and Al and I flipped for it.

Previous film versions of King Lear cast Laurence Olivier, Orson Welles and Paul Scofield as the aging monarch whose decision to divide his kingdom among his three daughters based on how much they say they love him leads to his downfall and the deaths of those close to him.