Romeo and Juliet (Baz Luhrmann version)

As teen romance goes, William Shakespeare‘s Romeo and Juliet has just about everything: warring families, rich wordplay, deadly swordfights, fake-out poison, illicit marriage, and of course, a passion so intense it makes all of the rest of that stuff worth it for our heroes.

If it has one major flaw, though, it’s obviously the lack of hyper-stylized Zack Snyder-style action. Thankfully, some Hollywood heroes have taken it upon themselves to fix this grievous failing with Verona, a new version of the Bard’s classic that makes it look more like 300. Get details on the Romeo and Juliet 300 style project after the jump. 

THR reports Sony is in final talks to pick up Verona, a spec script written by Neil Widener and Gavin James. Joe Roth will produce. The title, in case you’re rusty on your Elizabethan theater, is a reference to the fair Italian city where Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet lays its scene.

Specific details are being kept under wraps at the moment, but Verona is described as a retelling of the familiar tale about two teens from rival families “through the lens of an epic, 300-style world.” 300, of course, being Snyder’s bloody, gritty, CG-heavy adaptation of Frank Miller’s comic book about the Persian Wars.

Roth knows a thing or two about reinventing old stories for big money. He’s currently finishing up Alice in Wonderland: Through the Looking Glass, Disney’s sequel to its 2010 hit, and has also produced Oz the Great and Powerful, Snow White and the Huntsman, and Maleficent.

Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet has been reworked so many times over the centuries that there’s really no point in getting all huffy about this new version. If anything, it might be nice to get a version of Romeo and Juliet that feels truly fresh, after the more straightforward version we got in 2013.

No, its specifically the 300 reference that sounds iffy. The original 300 felt fresh and different, but the style felt a lot less inventive the second time around. And theaters are already saturated with “gritty reboots” of stories we already know. That’s not to say Verona can’t be good, but hopefully the filmmakers have more to add to Shakespeare’s story than some fancy greenscreen action.

Cool Posts From Around the Web: