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Exclusive: 'Twilight' director Catherine Hardwicke to update 'Hamlet' with Emile Hirsch

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After having made movies based on The Bible (The Nativity Story) and the work of Stephenie Meyer (Twilight), director Catherine Hardwicke is

turning to William Shakespeare. EW.com has learned exclusively that Hardwicke will reteam with Emile Hirsch (whom she directed in Lords of Dogtown) to create a modern-day supernatural thriller based on Hamlet. Stemming from an idea initially proposed by Hirsch, Hardwicke and screenwriter Ron Nyswaner (Philadelphia) are working feverishly to transport the drama to a small East Coast liberal arts college where Hamlet’s father is the president. The story will begin with Hamlet (Hirsch) returning home for his father’s funeral, only to learn that his uncle, who has taken over his father’s post, is responsible for his father’s murder. Overture Films, the studio behind the project, hopes to have a script

completed in the next few months, with production beginning shortly

thereafter. Oscar-winning producers Dan Jinks and Bruce Cohen (American Beauty, Milk) are producing the project.

So did Hardwicke ever imagine herself taking on Shakespeare? “Hell no,” she tells EW, laughing. “I had never thought of it at all, until Emile mentioned the idea. At first, I thought it was scary and crazy, and then we read it aloud and I knew how to do it.” And even though Hardwicke hopes to use some of the play’s original dialogue, fans who prefer Stephenie Meyer to Shakespeare, need not worry. “You will understand everything without having a copy of Shakespeare for Dummies with you.”