Al Pacino crowned ‘King Lear’

02.03.09 8 years ago

Riccardo De Luca/AP

Al Pacino is ready to play one of Shakespeare’s pinnacle roles.

According to Variety, Pacino will play the title king in “King Lear,” Michael Radford’s adaptation of the William Shakespeare classic. 

This will be Pacino and Radford’s second time tackling Shakespeare together. Pacino played Shylock in Radford’s “Merchant of Venice,” which made less than $4 million at the domestic box office in 2004.

Barry Navidi, who produced the upcoming Pacino-directed “Salomaybe?” will produce.

For the illiterate amongst you, “King Lear” focuses on an aging ruler who decides to divide his kingdom amongst his three daughters. It seems like a good idea at the time, but when Lear’s faithful daughter Cordelia opts not to go through with the plan, tragedy ensues. Lots and lots of tragedy.

Filmed versions of “King Lear” have starred Laurence Olivier, Orson Welles and Paul Schofield. Recent filmed stage productions have featured Ian Holm and Ian McKellen in the title roles.

Radford, who adapted the script, hopes to secure financing and begin production on “King Lear” later this year, shooting entirely in Europe.

Pacino was most recently seen in “88 Minutes,” “Ocean’s Thirteen” and “Righteous Kill.”

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