Ed Westwick’s star continues to rise. Since becoming the best thing on The CW’s Gossip Girl, he’s only made a few appearances on the big screen, including bit parts in Children of Men and Breaking and Entering, but for a young actor getting to work with the likes of Alfonso Cuaron and Anthony Minghella is a big deal and a show of confidence from these stellar filmmakers. Clint Eastwood also saw something special in the Brit and cast him in J. Edgar (another great move), but now he’s booked a major part in an upcoming adaptation of Romeo and Juliet.
Variety reports that Westwick will play Tybalt, cousin to Hailee Steinfeld’s Juliet, in Italian director Carlo Carlei’s rendition of the classic tragedy. Julian Fellowes (Gosford Park) penned the screenplay and Gabriele Muccino (The Pursuit of Happyness) will produce. Obviously, the linchpin in the films roster will be Romeo, who has not been cast yet. Whoever does take on the role of the star-crossed lover will have big shoes to fill and will also have to work alongside some really talented actors. Coming off of her debut performance in True Grit (which earned her an Oscar nod), Steinfeld has a lot to prove and I believe that all eyes will actually be on her, which both takes some pressure off of Westwick (and the unnamed Romeo) and will entice him to bring his A-game in order to leave his mark on the movie.
Though another version of Romeo and Juliet isn’t at all necessary, the cast at least makes it somewhat interesting. Production is set to begin this summer; expect an announcement regarding Romeo soon.