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Merchant of Vegas

06.04.2007
Spending significant time in the STAR TREK and X-MEN franchises wasn't enough to squeeze the Shakespeare out of Patrick Stewart. The veteran actor is doling out some Macbeth on stage, and when that's done he'll head to Las Vegas for his long-planned contemporary variant of MERCHANT OF VENICE.

Stewart, who stars in and produces the modernized version of Billy Shakes' play, wrangled STAR TREK: NEMESIS writer John Logan into adapting it for him, apparently only after convincing him it wasn't "loathsome". The story’s themes of gambling, greed and homosexuality should be a great fit for a town defined by its accessibility of vices and glitzy excess.

Shakespeare’s play revolves around a man who borrows money from a loan shark after a failed attempt to score points with a handsome younger lad, who’s off pursuing a hot babe. When this latest version was originally mentioned a couple of years ago, Stewart's adversary in mutant-human affairs, Ian McKellan, was planning to star as lusty elder Antonio opposite Stewart's flesh-demanding Shylock.

No director has been named yet for the project yet, described as being in a similar vein as Baz Luhrmann's ROMEO + JULIET. Logan also recently wrote SWEENEY TODD, THE AVIATOR and THE LAST SAMURAI.
Extra Tidbit: Stewart has mostly done voice work for animated productions lately, including TMNT, CHICKEN LITTLE, STEAMBOY and BAMBI II.
Source: The Argus

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