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TNT’s WILL Wants to Be Your Rock and Roll Shakespeare

TNT’s WILL Wants to Be Your Rock and Roll Shakespeare

What was William Shakespeare like before he became a famous playwright? According to the producers of Will, TNT’s new drama about the Bard’s life in his 20s, he was essentially a punk rocker.

Not what you probably expected, huh?

The 10-episode series chronicles the life of a young Will (Laurie Davidson) as he enters the wild theater scene of 16th century London, and uses modern music and contemporary style to tell his story. “Back then, [theater] was like rock and roll or puck rock, this completely revolutionary [form of] entertainment, creator Craig Pearce explained to reporters at a Television Critics Association 2017 winter press tour panel for the new series. “It wasn’t something for the intellectuals, it wasn’t something up on a pedestal, it was something for the masses.”

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Not much is known about Shakespeare’s early life, which the producers believe is an advantage for them. “He’s the most famous person in the world that people don’t really know anything about, except for a few facts and then beyond that there’s a lot of speculation,” Pearce said.

Added executive producer Shekhar Kapur, “History is interpretation. …We’ve taken Shakespeare, whatever we know, and interpreted it for us, for this generation and now.”

In fact, they hope Will will be viewed in the spirit of Shakespeare’s original audience. “I have to admit, I grew up hating Shakespeare. I thought he was someone for the intellectuals,” Kapur confessed. But after reading Pearce’s script, he reconsidered. He remembers asking Pearce, “How the f— did the intellectuals usurp Shakespeare?”

Shakespeare’s contemporaries today would be rock stars or rappers. “If today Shakespeare was around he would’ve been a rapper on the streets,” Kapur said. “He would be writing that sort of thing. So we have to make a [show] that represents the kind of thing he would make for the people at that time.”

Will premieres in 2017 on TNT.

Will you watch sexy young Shakespeare? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Images: TNT

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