The Wonderfully Weird Bus Tour For Joss Whedon’s “Much Ado About Nothing”

The cast of the Shakespeare adaptation piled into a tour bus to travel from L.A. to the SXSW Film Festival in Austin, Texas. Things got… interesting. (UPDATED!)

On the afternoon of Thursday, March 7, Joss Whedon and much of the cast of his black-and-white feature film adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing packed into a tour bus for the roughly 24 hour trip from Los Angeles to the SXSW Film Festival in Austin, Texas. The crazy, kooky bus ride all came together after a few of the lesser-known castmates began trying to figure out how they were going to attend the film’s U.S. premiere on Sat., March 9 at SXSW (Full disclosure: I’ll be moderating a panel discussion with Whedon and his actors after the premiere). Once distributors Roadside Attractions and Lionsgate got on board with the notion of a bus tour, things snowballed. They called it “Bus Ado About Nothing.”

With all that time cooped up in a tight space, life got a bit weird en route to Austin. Thanks to Twitter, Instagram, and Vine, the journey has been thoroughly documented for our enjoyment. (Note: When this was first posted, the passengers — including Whedon and actors Tom Lenk, Fran Kranz, Spencer Treat Clark, Jillian Morgese, Ashley Johnson, Nick Kocher, and Brian McElhaney — were still on the road. But it has since been UPDATED with their complete journey.)

It began with Joss Whedon’s highly anticipated Twitter debut.

On the bus, things were calm at first. Even dignified.

Actors Tom Lenk and Spencer Treat Clark. Twitter: @frankranz

From bottom left, actors Emma Bates, Jillian Morgese, Brian McElhaney, Fran Kranz, Nick Kocher, Tom Lenk, Joshua Zar, Spencer Treat Clark, and Ashley Johnson. Twitter: @TheVulcanSalute

Though there were portents of doom.

The start of a horror film.

— frankranz (@Fran Kranz)

And things weren’t always dignified.

McElhaney, Kranz, and Kocher Twitter: @SpencerTClark

Quickly, people began to get restless.

This #MuchAdosxsw bus ride is getting boring. @MuchAdoFilm

— TheVulcanSalute (@Ashley Johnson)

Meet the incredibly vocally trained cast of 'Bus Ado About Nothing'! #muchadosxsw

— NickKocher (@Nick Kocher)

Joss here. NO WAY this trip turns into a French farce. @JillianMorgese@TheVulcanSalute@BJMcElhaney@SpencerTClark

— MuchAdoFilm (@MuchAdoFilm)

Two hours in, some began to turn to drink.

Kranz, Morgese, and co-producer and editor Danny Kaminsky

Others began to experiment with social media.

I'm learning how to use Vine. Not very good yet.

— BJMcElhaney (@Brian McElhaney)


— tomlenk (@Tom Lenk)

For everyone wanting more BriTANicK sketches, get ready for a slew of terrible 6 second ones. #muchadosxsw

— NickKocher (@Nick Kocher)

Whedon, meanwhile, went about proving his presence on Twitter, and also challenging the grammar status quo.

Some questions as to the veracity of my tweety identity. PROOF, Doubting Thomi! (Pllural of thomas. Work with me.)

— MuchAdoFilm (@MuchAdoFilm)

At one point, some lucky passer-by received either one of geekdom’s currently most coveted prizes, or a bunch of bare asses.

Find our bus on the highway and you'll win either a) All of us flashing you or b) Joss casting you as Ant Man in Avengers 2. #muchadosxsw

— NickKocher (@Nick Kocher)

As the evening stretched into the wee hours, things began to get a bit… magical…

The new 6-second BriTANicK sketch! "Magic Trick"! #busado #Muchadosxsw

— BJMcElhaney (@Brian McElhaney)

Magic Trick 2. #busado #muchadosxsw

— NickKocher (@Nick Kocher)

The epic conclusion to the Magic Trick Triology. #muchadosxsw

— NickKocher (@Nick Kocher)

Maybe “magical” isn’t the best word. But you get the idea.

Twitter: @JillianMorgese

But wait, there’s more!

In the morning, they had pancakes!

Fort Stockton. We survived the night, but two of us switched bodies and Nick became something sad.

— MuchAdoFilm (@MuchAdoFilm)

Things got real.

@NickKocher getting real at the international house of pancakes. @muchadofilm approves. #busado #muchadosxsw

— SpencerTClark (@Spencer Treat Clark)

And love was in the air.

A short film I wrote entitled "IHOP love." #muchadosxsw #ihop #cinema

— tomlenk (@Tom Lenk)

There was a dance party.

Brief dance party. #muchadosxsw @muchadofilm

— NickKocher (@Nick Kocher)

And Fran Kranz was admired by Tom Lenk.

Fran is admired. #muchadosxsw @muchadofilm

— NickKocher (@Nick Kocher)

But when they started to get cabin fever…

Cabin fever. This may turn into a murder bus.

— TheVulcanSalute (@Ashley Johnson)

…things did indeed turn dark.

Fran gets an idea. #muchadosxsw @muchadofilm

— NickKocher (@Nick Kocher)

Nick’s attempt to embrace a month-old meme backfired…

Nick tries to be topical. #muchadosxsw @muchadofilm

— NickKocher (@Nick Kocher)

…until it didn’t.

"SHIT! We should have called it the 'Harlem Shake-speare'!" - Joss #muchadosxsw @MuchAdoFilm

— NickKocher (@Nick Kocher)

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