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Romeo and Juliet: Steinfeld’s Romeo is Douglas Booth; Holding a Candle to Zeffirelli & Luhrmann

Romeo and Juliet: Steinfeld's Romeo is Douglas Booth; Holding a Candle to Zeffirelli & Luhrmann

The latest adaptation of Romeo and Juliet, from Italian director Carlo Carlei (1993’s Flight of the Innocent), now has a Romeo for its Juliet. Hailee Steinfeld will be joined by 19-year old Brit Douglas Booth, who is prettier than she is. Clearly this movie is targeted to a young girl demo.

Previously cast were Holly Hunter (Nurse), Ed Westwick (Tybalt) and Kodi Smit-McPhee (Benvolio). Scribe Julian Fellowes (Gosford Park) is also producing with Lawrence Elman of Amber Entertainment, as well as Gabriele Muccino (director, Seven Pounds), Ileen Maisel and Mark Ordesky (both formerly of New Line). Romeo and Juliet shoots in Italy this summer.

Remember the Baz Luhrmann and Franco Zeffirelli versions, which have stood the test of time? Pictures and videos below:

Booth did well as Eustace in TV’s Pillar of the Earth, co-starred with Miley Cyrus in LOL and is gearing to star opposite Ray Winstone in the BBC’s forthcoming Great Expectations (another classic that keeps turning up–Mike Newell is prepping a new film). Steinfeld, the 14-year old Oscar nominee, is also attached to a pitch for a Sleeping Beauty adaptation, as well as a movie version of Cat Patrick’s young adult novel, Forgotten, in which she’d play London Lane, a memory-challenged teenager who can only remember events from her future.

The classic Shakespearean tale has of course been done countless times before. Fifteen years ago, Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet (below, 70% Tomatometer) starred Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes, and it’s 43 years since Franco Zeffirelli’s Romeo and Juliet (below, 97% Tomatometer) starred Leonard Whiting and Olivia Hussey. These are very big shoes to fill: will this retelling hold a candle to its predecessors?

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