Riz Ahmed to lead modern London-set ‘Hamlet’ with Morfydd Clark

“This is a 'Hamlet' about race, privilege, corruption"

Riz Ahmed is set to lead a modern adaptation of Hamlet.

The actor will be teaming up with Aneil Karia, his collaborator on the Oscar-winning The Long Goodbye, for the new film.

Ahmed will play the titular role and will see Hamlet “move through London’s elite circles and attend exuberant parties, going to violent lengths to avenge his father and prove his uncle guilty” according to Deadline.

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Karia will direct the film, from a script by Macbeth writer Michael Lesslie. Morfydd Clark (Saint Maud) has been cast as Ophelia, while Joe Alwyn (Conversations With Friends) will play Laertes.

Riz Ahmed
Riz Ahmed. CREDIT: Dave Hogan/Getty Images

“This is a Hamlet about race, privilege, corruption – and whether setting things right means setting fire to the entire old order,” Ahmed and Karia said in a statement obtained by the publication.

“This Hamlet belongs to a wealthy British Indian family who buy their way up the English establishment at great personal cost. This is an urgent story told in a bold way, that will grab hold of audiences and won’t let go.”

They added: “We want to continue what we started with The Long Goodbye, in telling a story that is both totally grounded and authentic to our experience but also pushes into action, thriller, genre, and poetry.

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“We’ve both felt on the outside of Shakespeare, but as South Asians also deeply connected to what these stories are about – themes like family, honour, and duty. So, our aim is to bring Hamlet to life by setting it in our own community.”

Meanwhile, Riz Ahmed recently criticised the UK government’s Nationality and Borders Bill, calling it “racist” and “immoral”.

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