First Look at Helen Mirren and Russell Brand in Taymor’s ‘Tempest’

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Helen Mirren in The Tempest
Photo: Miramax Films

Disney just sent over their fall/holiday preview images and among them were the first looks at Russell Brand and Helen Mirren in Julie Taymor’s long-awaited The Tempest, which will have its debut at the Venice Film Festival in September and then hit theaters on December 10.

Taymor’s adaptation of Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” offers a gender twist as Mirren as Prospera rather than Prospero as she reigns over the magical island. Shakespeare’s play mixes romance with fraternal politics and the supernatural. As revised for the screen, it will center around Prospera, her daughter Miranda (Felicity Jones) and a shipwrecked crew full of Prospera’s enemies.

The rest of the cast includes Russell Brand as Trinculo, Alfred Molina as Stephano, Djimon Hounsou as Caliban, Alan Cumming as Sebastian, Chris Cooper as Antonio, Ben Whishaw as Ariel and David Strathairn as Alonso.

Last year I thought this film would arrive in time for a late season Oscar push, but was told the film wouldn’t be ready due to a lot “of special effects [work] going on with the film.” Well, it’s here now and will certainly have all eyes on it in Venice to see just what type of contender we have on our hands.

Interestingly enough, this won’t be the only time Brand and Mirren team for a film as both are starring in the remake of Arthur, which is currently shooting with Brand in the title role. The film is expected to hit theaters in 2011.

To browse larger, fuller versions of the two new images from The Tempest you see above and below just click here to browse the RopeofSilicon gallery.

Russell Brand and Alfred Molina in The Tempest
Photo: Miramax Films

The other films included in Disney’s Fall Preview are linked just below and each of them has new images that have been added to their respective galleries: