Many Shakespearean plays have been used by Hollywood; the text is sometimes used as an exact script for the film and sometimes the text is used as a basis for the film but not an exact replica. A version of the play Othello written by William Shakespeare that appeals to teens is director Tim Blake Nelson's O. He uses Shakespeare's Othello as a guideline for his powerful movie about a rich white dominated school and a young black basketball star. Nelson uses many of the ideas from the original play in his adaptation but he uses these ideas in a more modern way as to appeal to a younger generation. There are many similarities between both the play and the film, but there are also some differences which lead to the idea that Nelson did not want to copy the play exactly; he only wanted to use it as a guideline for a modernized story.
There are a few similarities between the film and the play which help develop the idea that the movie is based on the play. The comparisons between the play and film are mainly in the plotline used by Nelson in his adaptation. Nelson uses many ideas from Shakespeare for the basis of his film. In both the play and the movie, a black man is living in a white dominated society where he is of high ranking. Both men are also very good at what they do; Othello is a great warrior and Odin is a great basketball player. Odin and Othello both fall victim to lies and deceit from their friend; this deceit leads to murder and suicide. The murders and suicide that occur in the play also occur in the film; they happen to the same characters but the victims in the film are under slightly different names. Race is also common between both; there are racial slurs in the film and passages in the play that put down black people. For example, in the film, Hugo tells Odin that Desi and Michael call Odin the nigger. In Act I Scene III, Othello speaks of his background and black people as being "cannibals that eat each other,/ The Anthropophagi, and men whose heads/ Do grow beneath their shoulders”(Act I, Scene III, 142-144).