In Julie Taymor's version of 'The Tempest,' the gender of Prospero has been switched to Prospera. Going back to the 16th or 17th century, women practicing the magical arts of alchemy were often convicted of witchcraft. In Taymor's version, Prospera is usurped by her brother and sent off with her four-year daughter on a ship. She ends up on an island; it's a tabula rasa: no society, so the mother figure becomes a father figure to Miranda. This leads to the power struggle and balance between Caliban and Prospera; a struggle not about brawn, but about intellect.
- Internet Movie Database
The gender reversal is getting quite a lot of comment, but it's not unprecedented in stage productions: see On Prospera's Island from Metroactive; the Prospera's Brave New World section in Shakespeare re-dressed: cross-gender casting in contemporary performance. However, I'm slightly bitching because around a decade back I wrote a Tempest adaptation using exactly the same idea, called Stormbound: The Tempest Retold. It was entirely hackwork - a fem-dom fantasy novella I wrote for an e-publishing firm called Amatory Ink - but I recall being very pleased with it as writing; it was faithful enough to The Tempest that I believe it had genuine literary merit as an adaptation. I'd been vaguely thinking of resurrecting it since finding a writing group critique for the first chapter. But, somewhere amid multiple changes of computer and clear-outs of outdated 3.5" disks, the rest is unfindable, and the publisher is defunct too. Moral: keep proper backups.