British culture has been a popular fascination recently, with “recently” meaning “since the late 90s when Harry Potter was published.” The trend continues today with the hit Sherlock television series. British literature contains some of the world's most beloved stories, and Sherlock proves that classics from centuries ago can still be just as compelling to fans and enticing to novices when updated to modern media. This series places the famous detective in modern day London, a world of text messages and blog posts. This got us thinking: what if other Brit lit classics got the same updated treatment?
William Shakespeare’s The Tempest
A group of wealthy show business socialites are sailing in the tropics when their yacht crashes on a seemingly deserted island that appears to have mystical properties. But it’s all the trickery of a special effects technician working there on a low budget SyFy Channel movie. He once had aspirations to be a great filmmaker until his brother stole his money and helped a friend take a covetous film job instead. Now that friend is a thriving director, the brother a successful producer, and the SFX tech is out for revenge on them and the rest of their shipmates. He and a group of overworked PAs throw fake storms and monsters at the castaways, while the tech’s interning daughter falls for the rival director’s son.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
An internet gamer tells the tale of a virtual campaign he and his friends embarked on, fraught with peril. A friendly non-player character appeared, believed by the community to be a sign of good luck, but the gamer accidentally shot him. Soon the game terrain grew more difficult to navigate, the campaign ran into overwhelming numbers of monsters to battle, and the teammates turn against the gamer. They force him to carry all the superfluous gear salvaged from the NPC, but this act of retribution does nothing to help their game. An enemy strikes and turns all the teammates into zombies and the gamer is left alone with only the other NPCs in his session as he tries to survive with guilt and unnecessary inventory.
Geoffery Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales
A disparate group of fans board a shuttle bus from their hotel to the Canterbury Convention Center for a pop culture expo, but find themselves stuck in traffic with a long ride ahead of them and a lot of time to kill. The bus driver, perplexed by these people in costume, asks them to tell him of the show, movie, or game they are obsessed with. He even offers a free dinner at the hotel bar for whoever can win him over to their fandom’s side. The geeks try to entertain him with tales of true love, mischief, knights, and talking animals, in the hopes of earning a new fan friend and a basket of chicken wings.
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