O Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art thou Romeo? And why does the newest film about you look exactly like the ones that came before it?
Although William Shakespeare died 400 years ago, it seems as if the romantic tragedy of Romeo and Juliet will never be put to rest. As Orlando Bloom gears up to play the male lead on Broadway, another take on the tale of star-crossed lovers follows in the footsteps of Franco Zeffirelli's traditional adaptation and the unforgettably "hip" modern version starring Leonardo DiCaprio. This time around, however, director Carlo Carlei and Julian Fellowes, best known as the writer of Downton Abbey, have chosen to completely embrace the period in which the tale was written. The result: an updated version of the Zeffirelli adaptation. Huh.
At least the stars seem well fit for their roles (and in the case of the highly attractive Romeo, we emphasize the word "fit"). Oscar-nominated actress Hailee Steinfeld, fresh from completing the hugely anticipated Ender's Game, plays the young and naive Juliet alongside her hopeless romantic Romeo, portrayed by rising star Douglas Booth. The young lovers are accompanied by a powerful supporting cast of Paul Giamatti, Lesley Manville, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Stellan Skargard, and Ed Westwick.
Indeed, Will claimed that a rose by any other name would smell as sweet. But will the newest adaptation of his tragic love story measure up? Find out on October 11.
Follow Lauren On Twitter @Lopay92 | Follow Hollywood.Com On Twitter @Hollywood_com
More: Hailee Steinfeld Turns Romeo And Juliet Into Young Adult RomanceA Loving Review of Joss Whedon's 'A Midsummer Night's Dream''Romeo And Juliet': A Fresh Take On The Greatest Love Story Ever Told
From Our PartnersBattle of the Bikini Bodies (Celebuzz)Complete Guide to Strippers in Movies and TV (Vh1)
Among the lot of Shakespeare reimaginings, modernizations, parodies, and spin-offs that we've seen come to be at the hand of Hollywood creatives, there still exist some good old fashion revisits to the works of the Bard. Set up for the near future are two retellings of Willy boy's best known love story, Romeo and Juliet. Alongside a high school-set comedy charged with delivering the story from the point of view of Romeo's ex-lover Rosaline (in which Lily Collins is pegged to star), there is another, far more traditional version of the play on the horizon: Director Carlo Carlei and writer Julian Fellowes' Romeo and Juliet, which has released its first trailer.
Stars Douglas Booth and Hailee Steinfeld offer a verbatim delivery of the play's lyrical dialogue... which makes one wonder exactly what facets of the script Fellowes might be responsible for. Though, anyone familiar with his name will instill confidence in the writer's ability to handle some old school Shakespeare with aplomb (Fellowes is responsible for Downton Abbey and Gosford Park, among other highbrow exploits).
We might ask why, exactly, a filmmaker would be interested in rehashing a play in such a well worn format. Perhaps Carlei and Fellowes aren't saying much new at all about Romeo And Juliet with their forthcoming film. But if nothing else, the below trailer does look like it'll return us to our younger days' read through of the admittedly stellar (stop saying it's Shakespeare's worst, contrarians, it's damn good) romantic tragedy. Check out the video and see what you think.
Follow Michael Arbeiter on Twitter @MichaelArbeiter
More:A Loving Review of Joss Whedon's 'A Midsummer Night's Dream'Anne Hathaway's Next Prospect: 'Taming of the Shrew'Haley Atwell to Star in a '10 Things I Hate About You' Sequel That Makes No Sense
From Our Partners:40 Most Revealing See-Through Red Carpet Looks (Vh1)33 Child Stars: Where Are They Now? (Celebuzz)
Two co-stars, not quite alike in dignity. British newbie Douglas Booth has been cast as Romeo in Carlo Carlei’s version of the bard’s tale. Booth, 19, will star alongside True Grit’s Oscar nominee Hailee Steinfeld, 14 as the starcrossed lovers. The talented young cast also includes Ed Westwick (Gossip Girl) as Tybalt and Kodi Smit-McPhee (The Road) as Mercutio.
Booth enters the project largely as an unknown- his prior credits include a role in Starz’s Pillars of the Earth, and little else. His upcoming role in Romeo and Juliet, along with his appearence in the new Miley Cyrus film LOL might make him a name, however. Romeo and Juliet is also the first English-language film for director Carlo Carlei since 1995’s Fluke.
Steinfeld’s casting signaled a younger-leaning cast for the film, perhaps echoing Franco Zeffirelli’s famous 1968 version with a 15-year old lead. Casting actual teens seems appropriate for the story, seeped as it is in age-specific emotional angst, but who knows if this will translate to acting talent. Between this remake and the upcoming Hunger Games film, the next few years will be full of a lot of teens stabbing each other to death.
Source: Cinema Blend
WHAT IT’S ABOUT?
Eddie Murphy is terrific in Imagine That as Evan Danielson an overworked financial advisor who is so immersed in his job he’s forgotten about Olivia his daughter from an estranged marriage. When he is given custody for a week and he gets too busy with work she retreats into her fantasy world imagining a group of princesses who as it turns out really know their way around big business. When Dad figures out his daughter’s special blanket and otherworldly friends have the magic touch for investment advice he becomes an instant superstar in his firm. But his newfound success soon sets up a confrontation with his chief rival Johnny Whitefeather whose presentations are often full of (Red) bull.
WHO’S IN IT?
From Dr. Dolittle to Daddy Day Care Murphy has carved out a solid alternate career as a star of family-friendly movies. But none of those previous works play to his overall talents as a comedian better than Imagine That in which he gets to merge his kid’s fantasy world with office politics for optimum laughs. The purely delightful premise in which Murphy faces off with skeptical business partners is perfectly toned to his talents and allows him to be widely appealing for both kids and their parents. As daughter Olivia newcomer Yara Shahidi won out over 3000 girls and is wonderful a real charmer who goes toe to toe with Eddie. Thomas Haden Church provides the perfect foil for Murphy as Whitefeather a guy who plays off a phony Native American heritage and spouts nonsensical advice like he’s E.F. Hutton. As bosses vying for Murphy’s newfound talents both Ronny Cox and Martin Sheen play it straight lending the appropriate gravitas to their roles. Nicole Ari Parker is winning in her few scenes as Olivia’s mom.
Murphy’s comedic tendency to go way over the top (i.e. Norbit) is kept in check with great results. He’s totally believable as a stressed-out businessman and his trip into his daughter’s imagination is handled realistically mined for the optimum number of laughs without sacrificing credibility. Credit for this goes to Karey Kirkpatrick (Over the Hedge) an animation director making his live-action debut for keeping cartoonish antics to a minimum and emphasizing heart and the father/daughter bond instead.
The scenes between Murphy and Shahidi are so effortlessly charming and real that you wish there were more of them. (One highlight is when father teaches daughter to sing Beatles songs which are heard throughout the film.) It’s the kind of thing Bill Cosby did so well on TV but could never pull off in movies. Murphy does.
Murphy is in top comic form all the way and is never better than when he berates Littlefeather’s hokey presentation then comes up with one based on his daughter’s doodlings that shows off the comic genius we haven’t seen in this actor’s comedy vehicles in quite a while.
NETFLIX OR MULTIPLEX?
Imagine That is a family film in the truest form and ripe for an outing with your kids. If you don’t have any rent one and go.