“These violent delights have violent ends“. It isn’t even a question to who wrote these lines, or what play this is from. That’s right! Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet is getting yet another movie adaptation. We’ve already seen this adaptation a thousand times from Zeffirelli’s classic (1968) to Baz Luhrmann’s much darker and modernized version Romeo + Juliet (1996) starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Clare Danes. Additionally, we have musical adaptations including West Side Story (1961), starring Natalie Wood and even Disney’s High School Musical (2006) is loosely based on the romantic tragedy. So it’s far from an original story.
The teaser trailer for the adaptation of Julian Fellowes’ (creator of Downton Abbey) screenplay, based on the world renown play has just hit the internet. I actually saw this trailer a couple of weeks ago as it previewed before The Host (you can read my review of that here), and I was quite impressed. This looks pretty interesting and boasts a star-studded cast including Hailee Steifeld and Douglas Booth as the two leads. Steinfeld was nominated for an Academy Award at the tender of 14 for her role in True Grit (2010). Heartthrob Booth is best known for his role as Pip in the BBC mini-series adaptation of Great Expectations (2011) and so he is no stranger to the classics. His boyishly handsome looks and chiselled jaw is bound to get hearts racing and teenage girls screaming in the same way the role catapulted DiCaprio into teen idol territory. Golden Globe nominated Damian Lewis is also set to star as Lord Capulet alongside Academy Award nominated Paul Giamatti who plays Friar Lawrence and Gossip Girl’s Ed Westwick as “King of Cats”, Tybalt Capulet.
From the trailer, it looks as though this adaptation is taking a leaf out of Zeffirelli’s book and looks pretty similar to his version. Apart from the movie being shot in 3D, I am just wondering, what can this adaptation offer us that Zeffirelli’s, Luhrmann’s or countless other versions haven’t offered us in the past? Call me a cynic, but I feel I already know the answer just from the marketing campaign. The trailer, was shown before The Host which will have attracted numerous tween fans of the Twilight variety and therefore, it appears as though the execs behind this movie are attempting to capitalise on the teen angst and forbidden love that was so popular five years ago when Twilight debut. Nevertheless, I am still intrigued to see how this movie will be done and I know that there will be plenty of people, like myself, who still love Shakespeare’s incredible and beautiful words that will be queuing up to see this movie when it comes out in theatres on July 26.
I’m going to shut up rambling on now and let you enjoy the trailer which you can see here: