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    Will Hot Shakespeare be the new Hot Priest?

    Emily Temple

    January 30, 2024, 10:57am

    Get ready to lust over William Shakespeare . . . again. The internet is abuzz with the news that Paul Mescal—who is swiftly becoming our literary adaptation king—will officially be portraying a “roguish young Shakespeare” in Chloé Zhao’s adaptation of Maggie O’Farrell’s Hamnet. If the bard of bards isn’t an obvious sex symbol to you, well, look, it’s been 26 years since we’ve had a truly hot Shakespeare (I’m not counting this), so it’s about time we get to reimagining. Especially in the context of a production as promising as this one.

    “That book—it’s just devastating,” Mescal told British Vogue. “I can’t wait. If I told a younger version of myself that this would be [shooting] this year, I wouldn’t believe it. . . . Chloé is somebody I can’t wait to get in the weeds with, and get into the heads of those characters.”

    Maybe it’s just because Paul Mescal co-stars with Andrew Scott in the recent film All of Us Strangers (adapted from the 1987 novel Strangers by Taichi Yamada), but I can’t help hoping that Hot Shakespeare can become our new Hot Priest: that is, a collective, semi-surprising crush that all the corners of the internet can agree on. Wouldn’t that be nice, in this election year?

    Either way, I do have one important question: did “roguish young Shakespeare” wear a chain? And like, could he?

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