It's not surprising that Shakespeare remains the most filmed author of all time. (Yes, children, that even includes Stephen King.) In fact, in any given year there are more adaptations of Shakespeare than of anyone else. Public domain status helps, but mostly it's because, well, you know, they don't call the Bard “Immortal” for nothing.
What is perhaps surprising is that some plays almost never make it to the screen. It's probably a safe guess that “Hamlet,” “Macbeth,” “Romeo and Juliet,” “Othello” and “Henry V,” all together, have spawned more films than the other thirtysomething titles combined. Ralph Fiennes' new version of “Coriolanus” — his directorial debut — appears to be the first big-screen adaptation (if the often unreliable IMDb is to be trusted in this case).
In the manner of Ian McKellen’s “Richard III” and Baz Luhrman's “Romeo + Juliet,” Fiennes updates the setting but keeps the literary style essentially intact. A large part of the trick in such hybrids is to reconcile the gap between the Elizabethan language and the more recognizable setting. It provides an excuse for all kinds of cleverness, but risks seeming utterly artificial.