17 Modern Movie Adaptations of Shakespeare Plays ...


17 Modern Movie Adaptations of Shakespeare Plays ...
17 Modern Movie Adaptations of Shakespeare Plays ...

Everything old is new again, and while this is true about fashion, makeup and hair, did you also know it's the same with movies? Just consider this list of films adapted from Shakespeare's plays...

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Romeo + Juliet

This adaptation can be a little awkward at first, because it's set in modern times, but the language wasn't updated. But it's still great!


10 Things I Hate about You

I loved The Taming of the Shrew with Liz Taylor, of course, but this adaptation is even better,and not just because of Heath Ledger's charm.


"10 Things I Hate About You" is a modern adaptation of Shakespeare's "The Taming of the Shrew" that has become a cult classic among teenage audiences. Released in 1999, the film stars Heath Ledger and Julia Stiles as the lead characters, with a supporting cast that includes Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Gabrielle Union. The movie follows the story of two sisters, one popular and one rebellious, and their father's rule that the younger cannot date until the older does. With its witty dialogue and heartfelt performances, "10 Things I Hate About You" has become a beloved interpretation of Shakespeare's work, appealing to both young and old audiences alike.


She's the Man

Amanda Bynes is a girl who dresses like a boy so she can do what she wants, actually a pretty darn good adaptation of Twelfth Night, minus the homophobia.


In the 2006 film "She's the Man," Amanda Bynes plays Viola, a high school student who disguises herself as her twin brother Sebastian in order to play on the boys' soccer team. This modern adaptation of Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night" explores themes of gender identity and sexuality, while also maintaining the comedic elements of the original play. The film received positive reviews for its clever and entertaining take on the classic story. Bynes' performance was particularly praised for her ability to portray both the masculine and feminine sides of her character. "She's the Man" remains a beloved modern adaptation of Shakespeare's work, appealing to both fans of the original play and new audiences.


My Own Private Idaho

I'm betraying my age, but I had a HUGE crush on River Phoenix after this movie. You will, too.


Shakespeare in Love

Watch this movie, and I guarantee you'll have a crush on Shakespeare forever.



So many stars, so many fab performances! Bill Murray, in my view, steals the entire movie, as he often does. The entire cast is brilliant, though, truly.


The Lion King

It took a while for me to realize that The Lion King is just another retelling of Hamlet, you know, with hyenas added for fun.


Shakespeare's influence knows no bounds, and The Lion King is no exception. This Disney classic might dress itself in the catchy tunes and lush landscapes of Africa, but at its heart, it carries the dramatic weight of one of the most famous tragedies ever written. Simba's journey mirrors that of Prince Hamlet, tackling themes of power, responsibility, and the quest for justice after the untimely death of a king. And while Shakespeare didn't include a warthog and a meerkat duo, Timon and Pumbaa perfectly embody the comedic relief often found in the Bard's plays.


Much Ado about Nothing

Joss Whedon and Shakespeare seem like an unlikely match, but really, this movie is brilliant and incredibly fun.


Gnomeo & Juliet

Yes, a re-telling of Romeo and Juliet, with... garden gnomes.


Warm Bodies

A Shakespeare romance with zombies isn't any stranger than a Jane Austen novel with zombies, and this movie is actually really freakin' good.


Warm Bodies is a 2013 romantic zombie comedy film based on the novel of the same name by Isaac Marion. It follows the story of R, a zombie who falls in love with Julie, a human survivor. The film is directed by Jonathan Levine and stars Nicholas Hoult as R and Teresa Palmer as Julie.

The film follows R, a zombie who is searching for meaning in the post-apocalyptic world he inhabits. After he saves Julie, a human survivor, from a zombie attack, he begins to feel more alive and starts to develop feelings for her. He then decides to protect her from the other zombies and take her to safety.

The film uses elements of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, with R and Julie representing the two star-crossed lovers. The film also incorporates themes of love, death, and the power of human connection.

Warm Bodies was a commercial success, grossing over $117 million worldwide. It received generally positive reviews from critics, who praised its unique take on the zombie genre and the chemistry between Hoult and Palmer. The film was nominated for several awards, including a Saturn Award for Best Fantasy Film and a Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie: Romance.


A Thousand Acres

A re-telling of King Lear, this movie's kind of old, but def worth a watch for any fan of the Bard.


Romeo Must Die

Okay, so the name of the movie is a tip-off to which play it's based on, but it's much more action-packed than you'd think.


Romeo Must Die is a modern adaptation of Shakespeare’s classic tragedy, Romeo and Juliet. Directed by Andrzej Bartkowiak and released in 2000, the movie stars Jet Li, Aaliyah, and Delroy Lindo. Set in modern-day Oakland, California, Romeo Must Die tells the story of two rival families, the Sing and the Han. The conflict between the two families is further complicated by the forbidden love between Romeo (Li) and Juliet (Aaliyah).

The movie is a classic action-packed martial arts movie, as Romeo and Juliet fight against the odds to be together. Jet Li, a renowned martial artist, plays Romeo and performs some impressive stunts in the movie. The movie also features some memorable fight sequences between Li and Aaliyah.

Romeo Must Die is a classic action movie with some great performances from the cast. It has a strong soundtrack, featuring songs from Aaliyah, DMX, and Sisqo. The movie was a box office success, grossing over $91 million worldwide.


Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead

I love this movie! It's another Hamlet adaptation, and it's just brilliant.


Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead is a 1990 British-American comedy film written and directed by Tom Stoppard. It is an adaptation of his play of the same name, and stars Gary Oldman and Tim Roth as Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, two minor characters from William Shakespeare's Hamlet.

The film begins with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, two minor characters from Shakespeare's Hamlet, in a boat on a river. They are travelling to Elsinore Castle, where they have been summoned by the King of Denmark, Claudius. Along the way, they discuss their purpose in life and their roles in the play. They soon arrive at the castle, where they are thrust into a world of intrigue and deception.

The film follows the characters as they attempt to make sense of their situation and unravel the mystery of their fate. Along the way, they encounter a variety of characters, including the Player, a traveling actor, and the Tragedians, a group of actors who perform a play within the play. The film also features a number of scenes taken directly from the play, including the famous “To be or not to be” soliloquy.



Sure, there have been dozens of Macbeth movies over the years, but this one is just exceptional. Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard. That's all you really need to know.


The Taming of the Shrew

I had to include this one; I love it.


West Side Story

When you're a Jet, you're a Jet all the way, from your first cigarette to your last... anyway. It's a classic.


Much Ado about Nothing

I never really "got" Shakespeare til I saw this movie. It's so, so good!

Feedback Junction

Where Thoughts and Opinions Converge

Never thought about some of these being from Shakespeare.

Haha did not expect to see #9 on here.

I like some of these but I do love adaptations that are true to the original. Franco Zefferelli's Romeo and Juliet and Kenneth Branagh's Much Ado About Nothing are superb. 

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