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This first trailer for Ralph Fiennes' directorial debut—an adaptation of Shakespeare’s Coriolanus—arrives with guns blazing. In telling the story of Roman military leader Gaius Marcius Coriolanus, it seems as though Fiennes’ film is cut from the same cloth as 1995’s Ian McKellen-starring Richard III, similarly updating the play’s ancient Romans vs. barbarian rebels premise to a more modern military setting. In keeping with that, there isn't a lot of actual Shakespearean dialogue here, which is mostly drowned out by a heavy dose of machine-gun fire and heavy metal. Pulling double duty, Fiennes stars as the title character, with Vanessa Redgrave supporting as his mother, Jessica Chastain his wife, Gerard Butler his rival-turned-ally Tullus Aufidius, and Brian Cox as a jealous and fearful Roman senator. And given that cast, it’s not surprising to see that the pull-quotes from the British press are already singing some high praise—though still, noteworthy adaptations of the Bard are few and far between. The last major production—Julie Taymor's The Tempest with Helen Mirren—flopped with critics and audiences alike, but maybe Coriolanus’ epic battle scenes will be a bigger draw than seeing Mirren casting spells.


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