The works of William Shakespeare have withstood the test of time. Not only are his plays still produced across the globe hundreds of years after his death, they have also served as the inspiration for many modern films. Take a look at this list of five films inspired by Shakespeare plays. Can you guess which play inspired which film?
Directed by Gil Junger
A pretty, popular teenager can’t go on a date until her ill-tempered older sister does.
Giving Shakespeare the high school treatment might seem odd, but 10 Things I Hate About You has become a famous retelling of Taming of the Shrew, the story of a stubborn young women determined never to fall in a love and the man equally bent on wooing her.
Directed by Roger Allers
Lion prince Simba and his father are targeted by his bitter uncle, who wants to ascend the throne himself.
Hamlet—a tragic story of familial betrayal—serves as the inspiration for Disney’s classic animated musical, The Lion King. Though we can’t imagine singing the famous “to be or not to be” speech, Simba’s search for self and belonging very much echoes Hamlet’s journey in the play.
Directed by Robert Wise
Two youngsters from rival New York City gangs fall in love, but tensions between their respective friends build toward tragedy.
Many modern Shakespeare retellings stick with the comedies, but West Side Story is one Shakespeare adaptation that is not afraid to delve into a tragedy. This stirring musical dramatization of Romeo and Juliet closely follows the plot of its inspiration and asks the viewer to confront difficult questions about the consequences of bias and hate.
Directed by Andy Fickman
Everybody has a secret…Duke wants Olivia who likes Sebastian who is really Viola whose brother is dating Monique so she hates Olivia who’s with Duke to make Sebastian jealous who is really Viola who’s crushing on Duke who thinks she’s a guy…
If that synopsis doesn’t sound like a Shakespeare comedy, we’re not sure what does! Mistaken identities abound in Shakespeare comedies and She’s the Man embraces this whole-heartedly, drawing inspiration from the love triangles of Twelfth Night with many hilarious modern twists thrown in to make you laugh.
Directed by John Malkovich
After a highly unusual zombie saves a still-living girl from an attack, the two form a relationship that sets in motion events that might transform the entire lifeless world.
A zombie named R, a girl named Julie, a forbidden romance, and a balcony scene? Yes, Warm Bodies is based on the famous tragedy Romeo and Juliet, though with a much less tragic ending for our heroes.
Can you think of another Shakespeare inspired film? Send us a review and we’ll share it on our blog!
Recommended by Meghan Flinders-Peay, Assistant Librarian