Gillian Flynn's 'Hamlet' Retelling Is Good News for Women
Until very recently, for fans of author Gillian Flynn the future has seemed pretty bleak. Gone Girl, her most recent novel, was published in 2012, and while we have its upcoming movie adaptation to look forward to, as well as the Dark Places movie, that's just not as exciting as the prospect of a new book. So you can only imagine how thrilled we were to hear about Flynn's next project, an updated version of Hamlet. Yes, the woman behind Gone Girl is going to take on William Shakespeare and it's not just Flynn fans, but women everywhere, who should be counting down the days to the retelling's 2016 release.
For all of his creative genius, it's important to remember that Shakespeare was a 16th century man, and so in some works, certain female characters may not have been as fully fleshed out as their male counterparts. Flynn, however, has placed women at the center of all three of her novels, and each is a unique, flawed, and interesting character. There might be no better play for Flynn to reimagine than Hamlet.
To begin with, Hamlet only contains two female characters, Gertrude, Hamlet's mother, and Ophelia, the woman who loves him and eventually dies, likely of suicide. Hamlet hates his mother for marrying his uncle Claudius right after Claudius killed his father, and doesn't exactly treat the fragile Ophelia well. Flynn's version of the story, however, might go further into both characters and allow a different understanding of their actions than that originally presented by Shakespeare through his male protagonist. In a press release, Flynn specifically mentioned Ophelia as a character she is eager to write.
Add to that some of Shakespeare’s most intriguing, curious characters — from the titular brooding prince to rueful Ophelia — and what (slightly cheeky) writer wouldn’t be tempted to reimagine it?
There's no way of knowing what exactly Flynn has in store for the characters of Hamlet, but it's safe to say that Gertrude and Ophelia will get some much-needed modern makeovers.