Ahead of any formal announcements, Amazon.com has begun taking pre-orders for Julie Taymor’s The Tempest from Disney’s Touchstone Pictures on DVD with a noted release date of June 7, 2011 September 13, 2011. Amazon has also listed a Blu-ray edition for the film, but no release date has been specified as of yet, nor have any details specific to either release. Because Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment has been experimenting with releasing DVD editions days or weeks after the Blu-ray editions, the only fairly safe assumption at this time is that the Blu-ray edition should be available by June 7 at the latest.
This past weekend, the 48th Annual New York Film Festival honored director’s Julie Taymore’s spin on the Shakespeare classic by making The Tempest the Centerpiece of the festival. The first of the two screenings on Saturday night also managed to double as the North American premiere of the film. I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the second screening, introduced by Julie Taymor. Noting The Tempest was celebrating its 400th anniversary, Taymor reflected on her experiences with the Shakespearean play dating back to directing a staged version of the play some time ago. Despite the material’s origins and mostly native British cast, she also quipped it was an American film as it had been filmed on the Hawaiian island of Lana’i, a place she had once vacationed at and decided then and there ‘it was The Tempest.’ It’s also worth noting that portions of the film were also filmed in New York soundstages in addition to Hawaii.
On the heels of the hi-res poster for The Tempest, which we brought to you yesterday, Miramax Films and Walt Disney Studios has also provided to us this still from the film which features Helen Mirren, Felicity Jones and Djimon Hounsou. The still has been added to our gallery for the film, seen below.
From Miramax Films comes The Tempest directed and adapted for the screen by Julie Taymor who last directed the Beatles’ music-filled Across the Universe and created and directed the Disney Theatrical adaptation of The Lion King on Broadway. The film — which stars Helen Mirren, Russell Brand, Alfred Molina, Djimon Hounsou, David Strathairn, Chris Cooper, Alan Cumming, Ben Whishaw, Reeve Carney, Felicity Jones and Tom Conti — is adapted from the William Shakespeare play and will open in limited release in New York and Los Angeles on December 10, 2017, followed by a wide release on December 17. This will be Taymor’s second adaptation of a Shakespeare play, the first being Titus (based on ‘Titus Andronicus’).
WASHINGTON, Sept. 24 — In a special ceremony today, Disney Theatrical Productions donated objects from the Tony and Olivier Award-winning musical “The Lion King” to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. Costume elements from the show’s protagonist Simba and the tribal shaman Rafiki will join objects from the musicals “Cats,” “Rent” and the “King and I” in the museum’s permanent entertainment collections.
Designed by Julie Taymor, the costume components include Simba’s stylized lion mask and headdress — co-designed by Michael Curry — and the costume, custom shoes and hat designed for Rafiki. The donated items were conceived for the original Broadway production of “The Lion King,” which opened Nov. 13, 1997.
“Taymor’s designs bring the story of Simba the lion cub, fulfilling his destiny to become king in the African Pride Lands, to life,” said Brent D. Glass, director of the museum. “This donation is a significant addition to the museum’s entertainment collection and joins materials representative of Broadway hits.”
The Simba mask-headdress is made of carbon graphite, a lightweight but durable material cast from a silicone mold, paint and polyester fibers. The Rafiki costume is made of cotton fabric, decorated with metal amulets and a horsehair collar. The hat is made of textured kente cloth, and the custom shoes are made of rubber.