New Coriolanus Trailer Lands

What light from yonder firefight breaks?

Judging by its thumping new trailer, Ralph Fiennes' Coriolanus looks like a hugely visceral interpretation of Shakespeare's political tragedy. If you thought the Bard's characters were all hey-nonny-nonny'ing about in forests and undertaking irresponsible balcony climbs, it's probably time to think again.

Fiennes has jolted the great Bard's play from its Ancient Rome setting and pressed it into a fictional modern-day republic. As General Coriolanus, he's pressured to join the Senate by his controlling mother Volumnia (Vanessa Redgrave), but finds himself banished from the city in disgrace when his fellow politicians conspire against him.

To regain power, Coriolanus must team up with his sworn enemy, Gerard Butler's Tullus Aufidius, because he controls the Volscian army, and, well, he's Gerard Butler. We're not sure about their volte face, but Empire caught some new clips of the film's opening scenes at Big Screen this weekend and the pair definitely make worthy adversaries. It's realpolitik with a bloodstained face.

Updating Shakespeare's histories to a modern context is a tricky business and definitely a bold call for a debut feature - even for someone as well versed in the Bard as Fiennes - but this looks like it match Richard Loncraine's excellent Richard III. It's out in the UK on January 20, 2012.