Maybe you feel you’ve seen Romeo and Juliet adapted one time too many at this point. Well, sorry to say, the people over at Amber Entertainment have decided to try their hand at adapting Shakespeare‘s enduring classic. This new version will be helmed by Italian director Carlo Carlie and scripted by Academy Award-winning Gosford Park scribe Julian Fellowes, with True Grit actress Hailee Steinfeld set for the role of Juliet. Already on board are Kodi Smit-McPhee as Romeo’s faithful cousin Benvolio, Ed Westwick as Juliet’s rash cousin Tybalt and Holly Hunter as her loyal-to-a-fault nurse. But wherefore art thou, Romeo?
Variety now reports the role of Romeo has gone to Douglas Booth. Notably, he — like Steinfeld — is a fairly new face, with his biggest project to date being the Showtime miniseries The Pillars of the Earth, though he will soon be seen in the Miley Cyrus’ LOL. (Romeo and Juliet should supplant the latter as his most prominent work.) Yet, Steinfeld is a upcoming actress with an Oscar nomination, so it’s interesting they’ve chosen a relative unknown to play opposite her. However, Booth did beat out 300 other candidates for the role, so he’s obviously doing something right.
Another curious casting call is the age difference between the two stars. Granted the play posits Juliet as about 14 (Steinfeld‘s age), and Romeo is generally considered to be a few years older. How much older isn’t clear. But by casting 19-year-old Booth, the producers seem to be staying more faithful in that department than other adaptations that have placed both leads into their late teens or early twenties.
While I’m more than happy that Steinfeld is landing lead roles and generally like the assembled cast thus far, I can’t say I’m interested in seeing this story again. But hey, at least it’s not based on a comic book, I guess.
You know the story of Romeo and Juliet. Don’t play that game.
How do you feel about Booth getting the part of Romeo? Is this a story you want to see again?