East Hampton resident Naomi Watts will star opposite Star Wars heroine Daisy Ridley in Ophelia, a retelling of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, from the perspective of his ill-fated love interest. Watts is set to play Gertrude, Hamlet’s mother, while Ridley will play the title role.
Ophelia, based on the 2006 young adult novel of the same name, goes in a different direction than Shakespeare’s famous tragedy—more characters survive (poor Ophelia drowns in the original, but we’re betting Ridley’s a good swimmer), there’s a secret wedding and even a happy(ish) ending. Of course, it’s likely that Watts’s Gertrude will be the beautiful, evil villain; Hamlet’s mom is never shown to be a stand-up lady—she married her brother-in-law—and in some versions of the story she’s downright crazy (see Glenn Close’s take on the role).
Watts has quite a few projects in the pipeline, including films The Glass Castle and The Book of Henry, Netflix series Gypsy and Showtime’s upcoming revival of Twin Peaks. A huge fan of Star Wars, Watts must be excited to work with Ridley, who shot to fame for her role in The Force Awakens as Rey, a mysterious young woman who may be the key to saving the galaxy. On May 4, Watts posted the following Instagram photo with Book of Henry co-star Jacob Tremblay:
Claire McCarthy will direct Ophelia. No other casting has been announced. May we suggest Watts’s husband Liev Schreiber for Gertrude’s husband/Hamlet’s uncle Claudius?