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379 voters

The Best Modern Versions of Shakespeare Plays

Updated June 14, 2019 2.4k votes 379 voters 10.9k views29 items

List RulesFilm adaptations of Shakespearean plays, set in the modern day.

List of the best modernized versions of Shakespeare plays. There are movies out there based on the plays of William Shakespeare that came out centuries after the plays were first published. After all, they did not exactly have cameras in the days Romeo & Juliet was first performed, let alone the technology that enabled Tromeo & Juliet to be the epic movie it is today.

The most popular example of a Shakespeare modernization is 10 Things I Hate About You. The 1999 teenage rom-com is a retelling of The Taming of the Shrew, starring Heath Ledger. But even widely known, classic movie masterpieces, like West Side Story and The Lion King, are merely modern day renditions of Shakespeare's writing. Ralph Fiennes's Coriolanus and Gus Van Sant's My Own Private Idaho are examples of today's celebrities doing their take on the most classic of classics: the centuries-old theater pieces of William Shakespeare. That is why we see Hamlet set in today's Manhattan, just as we see Macbeth take place in a fast food joint in Scotland, Pennsylvania.

Vote up your favorite modern day version of one of Shakespeare's classics, or vote down the films you thought didn't quite translate to today's world.
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    The Lion King

    Whoopi Goldberg, Jeremy Irons

    Hamlet

    The Lion King is a 1994 American animated musical epic film produced by Walt Disney Feature...  more

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  • 2
    83
    38

    10 Things I Hate About You

    Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Gabrielle Union

    The Taming of the Shrew

    10 Things I Hate About You is a 1999 American romantic comedy film directed by Gil Junger, and...  more

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  • 3
    71
    35

    West Side Story

    Natalie Wood, Rita Moreno

    Romeo and Juliet

    West Side Story is a 1961 American romantic musical drama film directed by Robert Wise and...  more

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  • 4
    53
    41

    She's the Man

    Amanda Bynes, Channing Tatum

    Twelfth Night

    She's the Man is a 2006 American romantic comedy film directed by Andy Fickman, inspired by...  more

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  • 5
    72
    82

    O

    Julia Stiles, Martin Sheen

    Othello

    O is a 2001 American drama film, and a loose modern adaptation of William Shakespeare's...  more

    More 

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  • 6
    42
    44

    Tromeo & Juliet

    Ian Fraser Kilmister, Debbie Rochon

    Romeo and Juliet?

    Tromeo and Juliet is a 1996 independent transgressive comedy film adaptation of William...  more
  • 7
    50
    59

    Love's Labour's Lost

    Alicia Silverstone, Kenneth Branagh

    Love's Labour's Lost

    Love's Labour's Lost is a 2000 adaptation of the comic play of the same name by William...  more
  • 8
    45
    57

    Forbidden Planet

    Leslie Nielsen, Anne Francis

    The Tempest

    Forbidden Planet is a 1956 American science fiction film from MGM, produced by Nicholas...  more
  • 9
    46
    62

    Romeo Must Die

    Grace Park, Aaliyah

    Romeo and Juliet

    This film is a 2000 American martial arts action film directed by Andrzej Bartkowiak in his...  more

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  • 10
    15
    19

    Deliver Us from Eva

    Gabrielle Union, LL Cool J

    The Taming of the Shrew

    Deliver Us from Eva is a 2003 American romantic comedy film starring LL Cool J and Gabrielle...  more

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  • 11
    28
    46

    Scotland, PA

    Christopher Walken, Amy Smart

    Macbeth

    Scotland, PA is a 2001 film directed and written by William Morrissette. It is a modernized...  more
  • 12
    29
    52

    The Bad Sleep Well

    Toshiro Mifune, Takashi Shimura

    Hamlet

    The Bad Sleep Well is a 1960 film directed by the Japanese director Akira Kurosawa. It was the...  more
  • 13
    20
    42

    Big Business

    Bette Midler, Lily Tomlin

    The Comedy of Errors

    Big Business is a 1988 American comedy film farce starring Bette Midler and Lily Tomlin. The...  more
  • 14
    20
    42

    Chicken Rice War

    Kevin Murphy, Tanya Chua
    Romeo and Juliet
    Chicken Rice War is a Singaporean film released in 2000 by Raintree Pictures. It is an...  more
  • 15
    14
    36

    King of Texas

    Patrick Stewart, Lauren Holly

    King Lear

    King of Texas is a 2002 drama western film written by Stephen Harrigan and directed by Uli...  more
  • 16
    47
    96

    Gnomeo & Juliet

    Ozzy Osbourne, Emily Blunt

    Romeo and Juliet

    Gnomeo & Juliet is a 2011 British-American-Canadian 3D computer-animated romantic comedy...  more

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  • 17
    14
    39

    The Sea Prince and the Fire Child

    Keiko Han, Tōru Furuya

    Romeo and Juliet

    The Sea Prince and the Fire Child is a 1981 Japanese/Australian/New Zealand anime film by...  more
  • 18
    12
    37

    Love Is All There Is

    Angelina Jolie, Joy Behar

    Romeo and Juliet

    Love Is All There Is is a 1996 romantic comedy film directed by Joseph Bologna and Renée...  more
  • 19
    16
    44

    Basilisk: The Serpent King

    Yancy Butler

    Richard III

  • 20
    32
    75

    Ran

    Tatsuya Nakadai, Susumu Terajima

    King Lear

    Ran is a 1985 Japanese-French jidaigeki epic film directed and co-written by Akira Kurosawa....  more

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  • 21
    28
    67

    Kiss Me Kate

    Ann Miller, Keenan Wynn

    The Taming of the Shrew

    Kiss Me Kate is the 1953 MGM film adaptation of the Broadway musical of the same...  more
  • 22
    17
    49

    Strange Brew

    Max von Sydow, Rick Moranis

    Hamlet

    Strange Brew is a 1983 Canadian comedy film starring the popular SCTV characters Bob and Doug...  more

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  • 23
    17
    52

    Let the Devil Wear Black

    Mary-Louise Parker, Jacqueline Bissett

    Hamlet

    Let the Devil Wear Black is a 1999 thriller film directed by Stacy Title....  more
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    25
    69

    Coriolanus

    Jessica Chastain, Gerard Butler

    Coriolanus

    Coriolanus is a 2011 British film adaptation of William Shakespeare's tragedy Coriolanus,...  more

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    16
    61

    My Own Private Idaho

    Keanu Reeves, Jim Caviezel

    Henry IV, Part 1

    My Own Private Idaho is a 1991 American independent drama film written and directed by Gus Van...  more

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