There are countless movies inspired by the works of Shakespeare. Despite his popular plays and literary works being hundreds of years old, William Shakespeare continues to influence modern culture. Time and time again movie producers and screenwriters turn to his works to inspire their modern day tales. Check out these modern movies inspired by the works of Shakespeare; they are worth a watch and they are absolutely beautiful!
1. 10 Things I Hate about You
One of the most well known movies inspired by the works of Shakespeare is “10 Things I Hate About You.” It is based on “The Taming of The Shrew” and features a young Heath Ledger, Julia Stiles, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. The movie uses many of the same names and even sneaks in a few Shakespearean quotes. This teen romantic comedy is an enjoyably popular retelling of a classic Shakespeare tale.
2. She’s the Man
Who would have guessed that the works of Shakespeare would translate so well with the teen romantic comedy genre? “She’s The Man,” starring Amanda Bynes and Channing Tatum, lends a lot from Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night.” There are gender bending disguises, character names and plots lifted directly from the text, and even a few famous quotes from the original Shakespeare text slipped in for good measure.
3. The Lion King
Yep, that’s right. Despite all the cute characters and catchy tunes, this popular children’s movie has definite Shakespearean undertones. Whether it was intentional or not, there are many parallels between the movie’s storyline and Shakespeare’s “Hamlet.” However, because this is a Disney flick, “The Lion King” has much more of a happy ending than Hamlet ever did.
A few years after “10 Things I Hate About You," Julia Stiles found herself playing another Shakespearean character trapped in a teen’s body. The movie “O” is a loose retelling of Shakespeare’s “Othello,” just told in a contemporary high school setting and with basketball.
5. Romeo Must Die
The tale of “Romeo and Juliet” is popular source material for screenwriters. This age old tale was re-purposed for this action-fueled movie starring R&B singer Aaliyah and Jet Li as the star-crossed lovers. Instead of warring over last names, the rival families and gangs in this movie clashed over race and crime-related issues.
6. Get over It
This teen romantic comedy (yep, another one!) is based on “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” The movie follows a teenage boy in the aftermath of a relationship break-up, and an ensuing love triangle of sorts. It even involves the main characters auditioning for roles in the school play which, you guessed it, is “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” (albeit a musical version).
7. My Own Private Idaho
This 1991 film by Gus Van Sant loosely borrows from Shakespeare’s “Henry IV” and “Henry V” plays. The film, starring River Phoenix and Keanu Reeves, is often considered a cult classic. It follows the lives of two street hustlers and their personal journeys. While the film is set in the modern day (well, modern back in the 1990s), some of the dialogue is paraphrased from Shakespeare’s works.
These are just a few modern movies that have borrowed from the works of William Shakespeare. How many of these movies have you seen? Can you think of any other movies inspired by the works of Shakespeare?