Riz Ahmed is in talks to play a modern-day Hamlet.

Riz Ahmed in Talks to Be (Or Not to Be) Netflix’s Hamlet

Riz Ahmed in Talks to Be (Or Not to Be) Netflix’s Hamlet

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Slate's Culture Blog
Oct. 17 2017 1:32 PM

Riz Ahmed in Talks to Be (Or Not to Be) Netflix’s Hamlet

Is this a streaming content provider he sees before him?

Andrew Toth/Getty Images

A modern-day Hamlet is coming to Netflix, with Riz Ahmed in talks to play the Prince of Denmark. Ahmed developed the adaptation with his friend and writer Mike Lesslie, and is now inking out a deal with Netflix to star.

Ahmed recently picked up an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series for his performance in HBO’s The Night Of, in which the British-Pakistani actor played a Pakistani/Iranian-American college student sent to prison for a crime he didn’t commit. The 34-year-old actor, who also played Bodhi Rook in Star Wars: Rogue One, won't be the first to jump from space opera to Shakespearean drama, following in the footsteps of fellow Star Wars alum Oscar Isaac, who played Hamlet in the Public Theater’s adaptation earlier this year.


The exciting new Hamlet adaptation will be set in a turbulent, modern-day London, although it’s not clear how far from reality contemporary Hamlet’s London will be. Social issues are likely to be front-and-center; Ahmed, an outspoken activist, raps and campaigns on behalf of immigrants and refugees, and was recently named amongst Time's 100 most influential people in the world.