The Merry Wives of Windsor itself has been seen as a sort of fan service, since it is mainly a vehicle for the Falstaff character. Thus, in addition to borrowing elements from older stories (as all Shakespeare plays do), Merry Wives is also a sort of sequel to the Henry IV sequence.
There have been at least four opera adaptations of Merry Wives. Apart from the Verdi, there are:
• Falstaff, ossia Le tre burle (Fallstaff, or The Three Jokes), a comic opera by Antonio Salieri (1799). A DVD of a performance is available at NYPL. There is also an audio recording on YouTube:
• Die lustigen Weiber von Windsor, a German-language opera adaptation by Otto Nicolai (1845-9). Two of the films listed below are based on this opera. A CD is available at NYPL.
• Sir John in Love, an English-language opera by Ralph Vaughan Williams, which premiered in 1929. A CD can be had at NYPL. There is an audio recording of an undated BBC Concert Orchestra performance here:
Merry Wives has been adapted to film a handful of times, although I haven’t had much luck tracking down the films online:
• There was a 1910 silent film directed by Francis Boggs. It is held by the Library of Congress.
• There was a 1950 adaptation of the Nicolai opera, directed by Georg Wildhagen, It is available on VHS at Rutgers.
• There was “BBC Sunday Night Theatre” production in 1952, directed by Julian Amyes. I haven’t been able to locate a copy.
• There was a 1955 BBC TV adaptation directed by Barrie Edgar and Glen Byam Shaw. I couldn’t find much information about this either.
• In 1965, there was another adaptation of the Nicolai opera, directed by Georg Tressler. Folger apparently has a book containing “publicity advertisements (pressbook)” for the film. I haven’t been able to locate a copy.
• In 1980 there was a direct-to-video adaptation directed by Richard E.T. White. NYPL has it in some sort of cassette format, although I’m not sure if it’s VHS.
• There is also a film of a stage performance of the play directed by Jack Manning. I am getting conflicting reports about when this film is from, but it was some time around 1980. This one is actually available on DVD at the NYPL.
• BBC did another TV adaptation in 1982 as part of their recording of Shakespeare’s complete works, this one directed by David Hugh Jones. It is available on DVD at NYPL.
• There was a 2011 film produced by the Globe Theatre. It is available on DVD at Fordham and NYU.
The Comical Gallant by John Dennis is a 1702 rewrite of the play. I haven’t been able to find a free online version of the text (HathiTrust seems to have it, but the scan is copyrighted even though the play isn’t). A print version is available at CCNY and Lehman.
There have also been a few productions that change the setting of the play. This version is set in Windsor, Iowa:
This production sets it in Windsor, Ontario:
Finally, there is a brand of beer called “Falstaff”. Here is an old commercial for it: