BELGRADE â€” British actor Ralph Fiennes began shooting Shakespeare’s “Coriolanus” in Belgrade on Wednesday, making his directorial debut as well as starring alongside Gerard Butler and Vanessa Redgrave.
The team will be shooting for two months in the Serbian capital and its surroundings, notably in Pancevo, some 14 kilometres (eight miles) from Belgrade, Sonja Vucicevic, public relations spokeswoman, told AFP.
Fiennes, who is also one of the producers of the film, plays the main role of Coriolanus, a Roman general at odds with the city of Rome and its citizens.
Pushed by his controlling mother Volumnia, played by Vanessa Redgrave, Coriolanus tries to enter the Senate. But after failing to win public support, he provokes a riot and later is expelled from Rome.
In order to take revenge on Rome and its citizens, the banished general allies with his sworn enemy Tullus Aufidius, played by Gerard Butler.
The film is to be a modern take on a Shakespeare play that “has it all: politics, family, male rivalry, conflict,” Fiennes told local media ahead of the start of filming.
Since the fall of late strongman Slobodan Milosevic in 2000, several international productions have been shot in Serbia, including Rian Johnson’s “Brothers Bloom” and “Einstein” by Liliana Cavani.
The former Yugoslavia was one of the prime filming destinations for US and European productions during the 1960s and 1970s, thanks to a wide choice of locations and cheaper production costs.