First TV, then film, and now Shakespeare. Netflix is bringing Hamlet to your home, and Riz Ahmed is in talks for the starring role, according to Deadline. Shakespeare’s most famous (and arguably overdone) play will be getting a contemporary update courtesy of the streaming service, and it will be adapted by Ahmed and writer Mike Lesslie.
Ahmed’s adaptation for Netflix will take place in his hometown of modern-day London; the story will reportedly be a contemporary version that tackles 21st-century London’s “economic and political uncertainty.” Modern takes on Hamlet are nothing new—Benedict Cumberbatch’s recent updated spin on the character had a limited onscreen run, and the Ethan Hawke–Julia Stiles version will go down as one of the worst versions in history—but Ahmed’s perspective will hopefully bring a new spin to a centuries-old story. It’s a role the actor has wanted for some time:
Ahmed has had a busy few years, as he appeared in Nightcrawler and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, released a new album with Swet Shop Boys, made an Emmy-nominated guest appearance on Girls, and won an Emmy for HBO’s The Night Of in September. His win for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie made him the first man of South Asian descent to win an Emmy. Netflix, which has notably been pivoting toward original content creation, has also made waves recently for its upcoming price increase. Perhaps tapping into the Internet Boyfriends market will make that transition a bit smoother.