Rosaline

The classic doomed romance of Romeo and Juliet gets a twist with Rosaline, a new film that will star Kaitlyn Dever. Based on the novel When You Were Mine by Rebecca Serle, the story retells Romeo and Juliet through the perspective of Juliet’s cousin, and Romeo’s ex-girlfriend, Rosaline. Rosaline is mentioned several times in Shakespeare’s play, but she remains unseen throughout the whole story.

Deadline broke the news that Booksmart star Kaitlyn Dever will star in Rosaline, a Romeo and Juliet–adjacent story. It’s described as a “modern twist on the classic tale of Romeo and Juliet” where we see “the most famous love story ever told” through the eyes of Juliet’s cousin Rosaline, a sharp but idealistic young woman—who happens to be Romeo’s recent ex. What begins as an attempt to foil the famous romance and win back her guy becomes a journey of self-discovery as she ultimately works to help get the star-crossed lovers back together.”

The film is an adaptation of Rebecca Serle’s book When You Were Mine, which has the following synopsis (and changes Romeo’s name to Rob):

Rosaline knows that she and Rob are destined to be together. Rose has been waiting for years for Rob to kiss her—and when he finally does, it’s perfect. But then Juliet moves back to town. Juliet, who used to be Rose’s best friend. Juliet, who now inexplicably hates her. Juliet, who is gorgeous, vindictive, and a little bit wild…and who has set her sights on Rob. He doesn’t stand a chance.

Rose is devastated over losing Rob to Juliet. And when rumors start swirling about Juliet’s instability, her neediness, and her threats of suicide, Rose starts to fear not only for Rob’s heart, but also for his life. Because Shakespeare may have gotten the story wrong, but we all still know how it ends.

Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber ((500) Days of Summer) are handling the script adaptation and Karen Maine (Yes, God, Yes) is directing. Producers include Shawn Levy and Dan Cohen. MGM previously had the project, but 20th Century Studios recently picked it up.

Staging new stories set in the world of Shakespeare plays can often yield memorable results, like Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Tom Stoppard’s play that eventually became a movie, and retold the story of Hamlet from the point of view of two minor characters who were Hamlet’s old pals. Rosaline seems a bit like that, but with a more YA/teen romance bent.

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