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Joss Whedon's new secret movie: Shakespeare via Santa Monica

The promo image for Joss Whedon's new movie
The promo image for Joss Whedon's new movie "Much Ado About Nothing."
The promo image for Joss Whedon's new movie
Joss Whedon (L) with his favorite actor, Nathan Fillion (R).
John Shearer/Getty Images For Entertainment W

Director Joss Whedon, best known so far for TV cult classics like "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "Firefly," soon to be known for directing "The Avengers," just shot another film. In secret. In 12 days.

It's a modern adaptation of William Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing," filmed in less than two weeks, in black and white, all in Santa Monica. Members of the cast started tweeting about it after principal photography wrapped.

A press release was issued giving details on the project, which is looking at being completed by early spring before moving to the festival circuit. That press release includes some of Whedon's signature deadpan self-deprecating humor, noting that the cast is committed to the idea that "the joy of working on a passion project surrounded by dear friends, admired colleagues and an atmosphere of unabashed rapture far outweighs their hilariously miniature paychecks."

Whedon's gone to the same bench he's used on other projects for this film, such as stars Amy Acker (playing Beatrice) and Alexis Denisof (playing Benedick), who both appeared in "Angel" and "Dollhouse." Acker also appeared in Whedon's upcoming "The Cabin in the Woods"; Denisof was also on "Buffy." Whedon wrote, adapted, cast and directed the film himself.

The film includes geek god Nathan Fillion, currently starring on "Castle," as Dogberry, as well as a personal favorite, comedy band Garfunkel & Oates' Riki Lindhome, as Conrade. It also includes Clark Gregg, who's played a government agent in the recent Marvel Comics movies.

It's the first film from "micro-studio" Bellwether Pictures, founded by Whedon and his wife Kai Cole, who served as a co-producer on the film. A press release says that the studio will focus on producing "small, independent narratives for all media, embracing a DIY ethos and newer technologies."

They just wrapped production on Sunday; it sounds like a long wait before it's in front of fans' eyes, and it remains to be seen how it will be distributed following its festival circuit tour.

(via Bleeding Cool)