Romeo and Juliet header

These days, teen romances are as likely as not to involve vampires, werewolves, zombies, aliens, and/or hellish dystopian landscapes. At their heart, though, so many of them are about forbidden love of one kind or another. In other words, they’re essentially Romeo & Juliet with supernatural bells and whistles.

Now along comes the original Romeo & Juliet to (hopefully) show us all how it’s done. Carlo Carlei‘s apparently faithful adaptation stars Hailee Steinfeld and Douglas Booth as the iconic star-crossed lovers. Paul Giamatti, Damian Lewis, Ed Westwick, Stellan Skarsgard, and Kodi Smit-McPhee also star. Watch the new trailer after the jump.

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Whether the world really needs another Romeo and Juliet adaptation is up for debate, but Carlos Carlei‘s upcoming film boasts some intriguing talent, at least. The script comes from Gosford Park and Downton Abbey writer Julian Fellowes, while young up-and-comers like Hailee Steinfeld, Douglas Booth, Ed Westwick, and Kodi Smit-McPhee are lined up to star.

The latest addition to the project is the always welcome Paul Giamatti, who’s set to play Friar Laurence. A confidant to both Romeo and Juliet, the character plays a key role in the star-crossed lovers’ fates. Shooting on the film, which is rather discouragingly being described as “Romeo and Juliet for the Twilight generation,” is slated to begin this month in Italy. [Variety]

After the jump, Dr. John Watson and the Earl of Grantham book big-screen gigs.

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An up and comer, a recognizable character actor and a seasoned veteran have all signed on to very different projects. The up and comer, Kodi Smit-McPhee, best known for his awesome work in The Road and Let Me In, is reportedly circling the role of Benvolio in Carlo Carlei‘s new film adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet along side Haliee Steinfeld, Holly Hunter and Ed Westwick. Michael Pena, the recognizable character actor, has joined the already impressive cast of Gangster Squad, Ruben Fleischer‘s upcoming true-life gangster film starring Sean Penn, Ryan Gosling and Josh Brolin. Then the seasoned veteran, Corbin Bernsen joins the female-centric gambling story Lay the Favorite starring Bruce Willis, Vince Vaughn and Rebecca Hall directed by Stephen Frears. Read about each film, and role, after the break. Read More »

VOTD: ‘[the films of] Baz Luhrmann’

In our last post about Kees van Dijkhuisen‘s ongoing “[the films of]” series, we gave his hint for the next director who’d be getting the montage treatment: “theatrical.” At the time, we could only guess what that clue might mean. Now, in retrospect, the answer seems obvious. The fifth installment of van Dijkhuisen’s yearlong, twelve-part homage series, “[the films of] Baz Luhrmann,” focuses on the Aussie director’s lush, unapologetically romantic style, as seen in his films Strictly Ballroom, Romeo + Juliet, Moulin Rouge!, and Australia. Watch it after the jump.

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Great Hope Springs, the movie in which Meryl Streep plays one half of a married couple spending a week of marriage and sex therapy with a famous therapist (Steve Carell) has gone through a few possible male leads. Jeff Bridges was mentioned early on, and James Gandolfini looked like a possibility at one point. (Those were when Mike Nichols was going to direct, but now The Devil Wears Prada director David Frankel will make the film instead.)

Tommy Lee Jones was next in the casting rumor series, but now he definitively has the gig playing husband to Meryl Streep. That’s a great pairing, and while the director may not be my top choice, I’m still as interested in watching these two actors trade barbs as I was when the idea first came up.

The synopsis for Great Hope Springs is after the break, along with news of new gigs for Maggie Gyllenhaal and Holly Hunter. Read More »

Hailee Steinfeld may have lost Katniss Everdeen to Jennifer Lawrence, but she’ll be portraying an even more famous teenager soon. The young True Grit star is reportedly in talks to join Carlo Carlei‘s Romeo and Juliet as Juliet. For those who’ve somehow managed to get this far in life without knowing about Romeo and Juliet, the classic William Shakespeare play centers around a pair of teenagers from rival families who meet and fall in love, with tragic results. Kind of like Romeo Must Die, only with more emphasis on the romance angle and less on the martial arts stuff.

Carlei’s earlier features include 1993′s The Flight of the Innocent and 1995′s Fluke. The script is being written by Julian Fellowes, whose past work includes Gosford Park, last year’s The Tourist, and the critically acclaimed Brit series Downton Abbey. The $15 million picture is scheduled to begin shooting in Italy later this spring, so expect to hear an announcement about who Steinfeld might be killing herself for soon. Um, spoiler alert. [The Hollywood Reporter]

After the jump, an intriguing new project for everyone’s favorite Pumpkin.

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Catherine Hardwicke’s proposed contemporized Hamlet retelling with Emile Hirsch didn’t work out as planned, but she may yet have her shot at tackling one of Shakespeare’s classic works. The director is currently in talks to direct the pilot for Romeo & Juliet, a TV series adaptation of the play that “follows the famous love story while also pealing away the curtain on the impetuous, incestuous, bloody and violent relationships during the Renaissance in Verona”.

ABC is developing the show, and World Trade Center screenwriter Andrea Berloff is writing it. Learn more after the break. Read More »

/FilmCast

In this special episode of the /Filmcast, Dan Trachtenberg from The Totally Rad Show joins David Chen to geek out about their favorite soundtracks. To listen to all of the songs that Dan mentioned during this episode in their entirety, click here to go to Grooveshark. To listen to all of the songs that Dave Chen mentioned during this episode, click here.

Like what you hear? Want to hear similar episodes in the future? Send feedback to slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993. One correction to note: the last track that is played, “Fantasia on a Theme By Thomas Tallis” was composed by Ralph Vaughn Williams. Eugene Ormany, who we mention, conducts the orchestral performance.

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Update: Some people have reported experiencing audio problems with this sound file. Please try downloading the file to your computer, rather than playing it in your browser. That should fix the problem (If it does not, shoot me an e-mail or leave a comment below). Thanks!
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