From animated lions on the plains of Africa to Amanda Bynes movies, Broadway musicals to the violent takeover of a fast-food restaurant, William Shakespeare’s plays have been adapted every which way for centuries—and not just in film, as anyone suffering through a community college production of Macbeth set in gangland Chicago can attest. In honor of the 400th anniversary of the Bard’s death, The Hogarth Shakespeare will commission modern authors to write “cover versions” of Shakespeare plays, re-imagined for the 21st century, to be released in 2016.By converting them to that modern, cutting-edge medium, the novel, the project aims to bring Shakespeare's stories to the reading public that eschews live theater and high-school English classes.
Among the first up for adaptation, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Anne Tyler (Breathing Lessons, The Accidental Tourist) will take on The Taming Of The Shrew—though good luck outdoing 10 Things I Hate About You—while Jeanette Winterson will take on The Winter’s Tale. Discussions are underway with other writers for subsequent entries in the series that amounts to the literary equivalent of a reboot. And at last, readers can feel the same as cinephiles who've had their spirits broken by years of remakes.