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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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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 »

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