The problem with Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet is that the story is so well-known, to do another movie version means it’s not going to be that much different from any other versions already out there.
The most popular – and one of my favourite ever movies – Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet is the benchmark and I think it would be pretty hard to beat.
Italian director Carlo Carlei is the latest to take on Shakespeare’s star-crossed lovers with screenplay from Downton Abbey scribe and Oscar winner Julian Fellowes. According to IMDb this is Carlei’s first foray into a big production, previously directing foreign-language and television movies.
The trailer itself is basically the whole movie, it puzzles me why some companies do this because it doesn’t necessarily entice an audience to want to pay to watch something when they know the story so well that it is laid out in the trailer. However, Romeo and Juliet was filmed entirely on location in Italy, just like the original Oscar-winning Franco Zeffirelli version so what will be different about this movie?
Well for starters the main cast are a mixture of veterans and hot newbies; you have Douglas Booth as Romeo cheekbones and eyebrows at the forefront, the very young already Oscar-nominated Hailee Steinfield as Juliet, Golden Globe winner Damien Lewis with a super dodgy haircut as Lord Capulet, Oscar-nominated and the simply great Paul Giamatti as Friar Laurence; along with the dashing Ed Westwick (most familiarly known as Chuck from Gossip Girl) as the main antagonist Tybalt.
Can this fresh cast bring something new to the Shakespeare tale that has been done so many times before?
Will the controversy surrounding the sex scene between 16-year-old Steinfield and a 20-year-old Booth be a hindrance or overlooked for the authenticity?
Only the box office totals will tell us the answer after it is released in October later this year.