Anne Hathaway has the kind of star power that lends excitement to nearly any project she chooses to associate with, so it’s nice to see her sign onto a production with huge potential. Yesterday, news hit that Hathaway– fresh off a great year, a Golden Globe win, and a so-surefire-it-hurts lock on an Academy win– is considering taking a role in a pending adaptation of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew for Working Title Films (the studio responsible for Les Misérables). I’m not going to lie; Hathaway feels like a natural fit for a work by the Bard, and a comedy such as The Taming of the Shrew in particular seems right up her alley.
There’s no director at the helm just yet, but we do have another name to go on besides Hathaway’s: Abi Morgan, who wrote 2011’s Shame and The Iron Lady. Morgan plans on setting her interpretation of the story smack-dab in the middle of 20th century Italy, which could mean that we get The Taming of the Shrew set against a World War II backdrop, which sounds pretty interesting even though there’s no confirmation on whether the action will unfold during or after its events.
It’s equally unclear who Hathaway will be playing in the film, but I’m going to go out on a shaky, dangerous limb here and guess that she’ll be starring in the Katherina Minola-equivalent role (because you don’t hire Anne Hathaway to play Bianca, obviously; that’s a role for an Alex Mack, not a Fantine). Hathaway has the sort of strength and independence needed to play a Katherina, and given how much momentum she’s been building up lately it seems far more likely that she’ll end up taking the lead– though I admit that she could just as easily portray the younger Minola sister.
We’ll have to wait and see when Working Title starts snatching up the rest of the cast and crew for the film, but Morgan and Hathaway alone make this worthy of attention. Universal will distribute.