Move over 'Romeo + Juliet,' It's time for Avengers + Shakespeare
*Sits backwards on a chair* Hey fellow kids, what if I told you that the greatest MCU director of all time isn't Jon Favreau, James Gunn, or my main man Peyton Reed, but some dude you may have heard of called … William Shakespeare? If you think about it, Shakespearian plays were the Marvel movies of their time, epic tales of heroes and villains that were booed by the noble squares but hella popular with the /plebs/, yo. What's that? You don't want to hear my Endgame rap in iambic pentameter? Tough luck. M'name is Thanos, I'm here to say no wait, don't scroll down past the ad--
Sure, we've all watched the Avengers movies, but wouldn't it be even better to read them in incomprehensible English that will trigger your middle school PTSD? September 24th will see the release of William Shakespeare's Avengers: The Complete Works, a reimagining of all four Avengers movies as theatrical plays written by The Bard himself. Slowly struggle through hundreds of pages of Elizabethan verse as thou followeth the epic tragedy of Captain Colony, Chiurgeon Strange, the Right Hon. Lord Star and other Marvel players.
And the franchise is in good hands. No upstart crow, the book's author Ian Doescher has made a career out of biting Shakespeare's moves for movies, having written bestsellers such as Star Wars: Verily, a New Hope, Get Thee … Back to the Future, Much Ado About Mean Girls and The Taming of the Clueless. Of course, those movies were already English Lit-y to begin with. Mean Girls is inspired by a Shakespeare play (Julius Caesar, if you can believe it), while the original Star Wars trilogy had more melodramatic twists and stage-acty duels than Romeo + Juliet. In contrast, the Avengers franchise isn't exactly built to fit neatly in a CGI-less three-act structure. So we'll have to wait and see how well the bantery dialog holds up when the epic 40-minute battle scenes are reduced to two-stage directions and a herald announcing that: "Verily, Lord Loki hath been mightily smashed."
Also, didn't we all agree that Marvel and Shakespeare don't mix? 2011's Thor was a Shakespearian story with Shakespearian dialog, several Shakespearian actors, and directed by the greatest Shakespearian thespian alive trying to mimic Henry IV -- and it's about as well-received in MCU circles as any and every black sidekick. Hel(l), Marvel tried to distance Thor so far from the first two flops they flung him into space for a prog-rock sci-fi comedy that barely waits 20 minutes before taking a dump on the idea of a Shakespearean Marvel adaptation.
Still, as the book's announcement blurb illuminates, William Shakespeare's Avengers is less of a serious literary work and more of a coffee table book stuffed with in-jokes and easter eggs, an "eminently giftable franchise bible" for those who love Shakespeare and Marvel. Personally, I'm holding out until someone releases the Marlowe Cut of Justice League.
To see the rest of his Corio-Thanos rap, do follow Cedric on Twitter.
Top Image: Quirk Books