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Keira Knightley & Lily Collins Eyed For ‘Romeo & Juliet’ Re-Imagining ‘Rosaline’

Keira Knightley & Lily Collins Eyed For 'Romeo & Juliet' Re-Imagining 'Rosaline'

Ah yes, “re-imagining.” The hot new buzz word around Hollywood offices and if you’re a lowly intern and you can attach the word “re-imagine” to some pitch that you have, you could find yourself up in an office instead of a mail room. So what’s next to get a contemporary coat of paint? Why Shakespeare, of course.

In the works since last fall, “Rosaline” is to be based on Rebecca Serles’ yet-to-be-published novel “When You Were Mine,” and despite the book not hitting shelves in until next May, movement has been speeding along. Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber (”(500) Days of Summer” and “Pink Panther 2”) have penned the screenplay and last month, “Grey Gardens” helmer Michael Sucsy came on board. And while we generally tend to shudder at modern redos, this one actually boasts a pretty decent premise: the plot, set in a contemporary high school, follows the classic story through the eyes of Rosaline, the unseen girl that Romeo is lovestruck by at the beginning of the play. Well, it looks like casting is getting underway as Vulture reveals that both Keira Knightley and Lily Collins are in contention for the lead role.

We presume whoever lands the part will be uglied up a bit to become a woman that Romeo ignores, but don’t get too hung up on these names yet as “discussions…are nascent” with Knightley’s people (though she is producer Shawn Levy‘s first choice for the role) and Collins is simply said to be a “strong contender.” Depending on when they want to shoot the film, scheduling could be an issue. Knightley is set to reteam with Joe Wright for “Anna Karenina” this fall, while Collins is currently lensing Tarsem‘s Snow White flick and we presume she’ll be heading into “The Mortal Instruments” sometime after that.

As for the author, she’s remaining realistic about the development of the film, but as for the casting? She’s got someone else in mind. “I did used to be a really big fan of that brown-haired girl on that show ‘Roswell‘ [Shiri Appleby],” Serle told Vulture. “But I’m going to be totally honest: I guess I saw her as a little bit of myself…As a writer, you have such strong visuals in your head that, as characters, they exist ‘as they are,’ you know?” While Serles probably isn’t going to cast herself, Appleby may want to get her agent on the phone right away.

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