Diego Tinoco, best known for starring in Netflix series On My Block (seen above) and Saddiq Saunderson of Hulu’s Wu-Tang: An American Saga, have joined the upcoming modern adaptation of the Shakespearean classic Romeo and Juliet, as announced by Deadline. Produced by Timur Bekmambetov (Night Watch) and Igor Tsay, the film adaptation is called R#J and is directed by Casey Williams, who also co-wrote the script with Rickie Castaneda.
Tinoco will be stepping into the role of Tybalt, and Saunderson will be Mercutio. Romeo will be played by Camaron Engles, and Juliet by Francesca Noel.
R#J marks the first project under Bekmambetov and Tsay’s recently launched Interface Films banner. Their most notable credits include horror film Unfriended and Searching, starring John Cho.
Just like those two movies, R#J will be shot using the Screenlife format of storytelling, told through the perspective of smartphone and computer screens.
The picture is set in the lush Louisiana area through the mobile phones of the star-crossed lovers Romeo and Juliet. R#J is described as a thrilling mashup of Shakespearean language and of the modern jargon language infused in the social media generation.
Tinoco will take on the role of Tybalt, Romeo’s short tempered rival. Saunderson is Mercutio, Romeo’s comical best friend. They will be joining the cast which includes Camaron Engels (Malibu Rescue) as Romeo, Francesca Noel (Selah and the Spades) as Juliet, and RJ Cyler (Power Rangers) as Benvolio.
In On My Block, Tinoco stars as a sensitive teen named Cesar Diaz who is get entangled into his family’s legacy of gang life with his three street-savvy friends. Saunderson plays Wu-Tang Clan member Ghostface Killah in the Wu-Tang series.