You might know him from Venom, Star Wars: Rogue One, or even as the guy who died a hilarious death on Nightcrawler (an appropriate qualification for his upcoming role), but Riz Ahmed is now on his way to becoming the iconic Hamlet, Prince of Denmark.
Variety reports that while promoting Englistan, his new BBC series, Ahmed also confirmed that his adaptation of the Shakespearean tragedy is currently in development.
The project originally began with Ahmed and writer Mike Lesslie (Macbeth, Assassins Creed). The two had met during their college years.
Image via ThoughtCo
The adaptation is expected to be a contemporary retelling, and will be set in modern-day London against the backdrop of England’s economic and political uncertainty. The story will still follow the play’s classic themes of familial honor, moral duty, and dynastic corruption. And Hamlet will likely still die.
Ahmed, also known for his activism (essay in The Good Immigrant and speech at the English Parliament), aims to use this project to bring stories and roles with social impact to the forefront.
Netflix is set to finance and distribute the film according to Deadline.
Between HBO’s The Night Of (for which he won an Emmy) and Star Wars: Rogue One, the past year has been good to Riz Ahmed. And the future’s looking even better. It’s just been announced that Ahmed may star in Netflix’s contemporary Hamlet.
Co-adapted by Ahmed and screenwriter Mike Lesslie (Macbeth and Assassin’s Creed), the new adaptation will bring Shakespeare’s play into contemporary London. The new take promises to tackle economic, political, and racial issues, according to Deadline.
Ahmed delivered a speech in the annual diversity lecture in parliament earlier this year in which he spoke about the importance of diversity in media. You can watch his moving speech here.
Ahmed will next star in an adaptation of Patrick deWitt’s Western The Sisters Brothers, which will also star Joaquin Phoenix and Jake Gyllenhaal.