Riz Ahmed's modern-day Hamlet adaptation begins filming in London

The adaptation is being directed by Aneil Karia.

By Nia Daniels 8 Nov 2023

Riz Ahmed's modern-day Hamlet adaptation begins filming in London
Riz Ahmed; Cr: Red Carpet Report CC BY-SA 2.0

Filming begins in London, UK today (November 8) on a modern-day take on Hamlet, starring Riz Ahmed. 

The feature reunites Ahmed with director Aneil Karia; the pair previously co-wrote short film The Long Goodbye (Ahmed starring; Karia directing) that won the 2022 Oscar for best live-action short film.

Set in contemporary London, the British Indian take on Hamlet stars Ahmed as the troubled prince, driven to violence to avenge his father’s murder while being haunted by the latter’s ghost. At the time of the announcement of the film, Morfydd Clark was attached to play Ophelia and Joe Alwyn to play Laertes.

Karia directs from a screenplay by Michael Lesslie. Ahmed and Allie Moore produce for their banner Left Handed Films, alongside Lesslie’s Storyteller Productions; James Wilson also produces. 

When the film was launched at last year’s Cannes market, Ahmed and Karis told Deadline: “This is a Hamlet about race, mental health and inequality, which asks if setting things right means setting fire to the old order. 

“Our Hamlet is an outsider in a wealthy British Indian family, who starts to question his relatives’ morality and his own sanity after encountering his father’s ghost. Hamlet’s bloody quest for revenge against his father’s killer will be told with a boldness and urgency that grabs hold of audiences and won’t let go.”

“We want to continue what we started with The Long Goodbye, in telling a story that is both totally grounded and authentic but then pushes into action, thriller, genre, and poetry. We’ve both felt on the outside of Shakespeare, but as South Asians also deeply connect to what these stories are about – themes like family, honour, and duty.”

This story originally appeared on our sister site The Knowledge

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