Amber Entertainment will bring a British adaptation of William Shakespeare’s star-crossed lovers, Romeo and Juliet, to U.S. theaters, on October 25,2013. Hailee Steinfeld (Academy Award nominee for True Grit), and Douglas Booth, who was chosen over 300 other hopefuls (probably for his outstanding performance as Pip in the BBC adaptation of Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations) play the leads in the timeless story of love, longing, and loss.
Director Carlo Carlei (The Flight of the Innocent), is staying close to the traditional story, similar to the Franco Zefferelli 1968 version, and is filming in both Rome and Verona. In 1996, Baz Luhrmann (The Great Gatsby), did an updated, hip version, where Verona became a modern suburb similar to LA. In Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo and Juliet, the forbidden lovers were played by a young Leonardo DiCaprio (The Great Gatsby, The Wolf of Wall Street), and Claire Danes (Homeland).
The script is by Academy Award winning screenwriter Julian Fellowes (the 2002, Gosford Park), who is also an accomplished actor (Downton Abbey). Originally, the script had a nude love scene for the newly married couple, but when 14 year-old Hailee Steinfeld was cast, all nudity was excised from the script. The film will still be romantic, but age-appropriate for Steinfeld.
Ed Westwick (Gossip Girl), plays Tybalt, Paul Giametti (Sideways, Cinderella Man), is Friar Laurence, and Damien Lewis (Band of Brothers, Homeland) is in the role of Juliet’s father, Lord Capulet. Tom Wisdom (Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, 300), has been cast as Count Paris.
Romeo and Juliet is being produced by Lawrence Ellman, Nadia Swarovski, Illen Maisel and Julian Fellowes. It opens in the UK on July 26.