Daisy Ridley and Naomi Watts to star in Hamlet spin-off, Ophelia

The adaptation of Lisa Klein's novel will retell Shakespeare's classic tragedy from the perspective of its female characters

Clarisse Loughrey
Thursday 05 May 2016 08:16 BST

Lost inside the profound musings of one of Shakespeare's most iconic characters, Prince Hamlet of Denmark, the world's never quite given Ophelia the attention she deserves.

She is an utterly magnetic, tragic character; almost celestially intertwined with Hamlet in the magnitude of their madness and grief, yet her character also has a history of being subject to the impositions of male perceptions of female insanity. She is inflicted not with the deep-rooted intellectual madness suffered by Hamlet, but by a madness affixed by her rejected body and unrequited passions, an erotomania.

However, the awakening feminist movement has brought fresh perspectives on Ophelia, and a chance to reclaim her from the tropes she's been burdened with; now, Daisy Ridley and Naomi Watts both hope to bring a new focus to the character, and to the women of Hamlet at large.

They'll both star in Ophelia, a re-imagining of the Hamlet story from an altered point of view (via Variety); Ridley will play the titular heroine, with Naomi Watts playing Hamlet's mother Queen Gertrude. Claire McCarthy is set to direct, which will be an adaptation of the novel by Lisa Klein.

It's certainly a fantastic addition to Ridley's burgeoning slate; though she may have lost the iconic role of Lara Croft to Alicia Vikander, she's already joined the J.J. Abrams-produced Kolma and historical romance The Lost Wife.

And, of course, she'll be returning to the role of Rey when Star Wars: Episode VIII hits UK cinemas 15 December 2017.

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