A month after his Emmy win for HBO’s The Night Of, Riz Ahmed is reportedly in talks to star in a contemporary adaptation of Hamlet for Netflix.
Riz Ahmed Working On Hamlet Adaptation For Netflix
This new retelling of the Shakespeare classic was developed by Ahmed and screenwriter Mike Lesslie, who worked on 2015’s Macbeth with Michael Fassbender. Set in modern-day London, the adaptation will explore “the intersecting themes of familial honor, moral duty, and dynastic corruption,” according to Deadline.
The melancholy Dane seems to be a coveted role among the acting community, with many, including Ahmed himself, naming it as a dream part:
If Ahmed takes the part for Netflix, he will be joining an extensive list of thespians who have tackled the role on stage and screen, from Kenneth Branagh to David Tennant, from Ethan Hawke to Oscar Isaac.
Hamlet Adaptation With Riz Ahmed Would A Step Forward For Diversity
It also goes without saying that Ahmed’s involvement in the project would highlight a step forward for diversity in Hollywood. When he won the Emmy for best actor in a limited series or movie last month, Ahmed became the first man of South Asian descent to nab the award—and the second Asian man, period. As one of the industry’s rising stars, his portrayal of Hamlet, so often played by a white man, could be groundbreaking.
As a self-professed Shakespeare nerd who often finds modern adaptations to be incongruous, obtuse, and frankly unnecessary, I have some hope for this version because, of the Shakespeare canon, Hamlet is certainly one of the best suited for the contemporary treatment. And if nothing else, there are two things in this world that I trust, and those two things are Netflix and Riz Ahmed.