By Oliver Lyttelton | www.oliverlyttelton.com November 15, 2010 at 2:45AM
(500) Days Of Bummer
Is it just us, or is Shakespeare suddenly back in vogue? Catherine Hardwicke's "Hamlet" might have fallen apart, but we're about to see Julie Taymor's take on "The Tempest" (for better or worse...), with the animation "Gnomeo and Juliet" and Ralph Fiennes' "Coriolanus" coming next year, and the sci-fi picture "Henry5" currently gathering financing. All in all, the long-dead playwright hasn't been quite so popular since the turn of the millennium brought adaptations of "Love's Labours Lost," "Hamlet," "A Midsummer Night's Dream" and "Titus" (plus "The Taming of the Shrew" re-rub "10 Things I Hate About You").
Now it looks like there's another high-school Shakespeare on the way, from some fairly unlikely sources. Deadline reports that Fox 2000 have bought the rights to "Rosaline," the first novel from author Rebecca Serle. The plot, set in a contemporary high-school, follows the classic story through the eyes of Rosaline, the unseen girl that Romeo is lovestruck by at the beginning of the play.
Shawn Levy, director of "Night at the Museum" and "Date Night," and generally a complete waste of space, will produce through his 21 Laps shingle, and he's hired Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber, writers of last year's sleeper hit "(500) Days of Summer," to pen the screenplay, having worked with them before on the script for the Levy-produced "Pink Panther 2."
On the surface, this is pretty disastrous, particularly considering the presence of the vacuous Levy (although it seems unlikely that he'll direct, at least). But "10 Things I Hate About You" did prove that a decent comedy can be made from Shakespearean source material, and, while '(500) Days...' had its fair share of flaws, Neustadter & Weber are fairly talented writers (their high-school script "The Spectacular Now," currently gearing up for production with "Vicious Kind" director Lee Toland Krieger directing, was excellent). Even so, it'll take a lot of convincing to get us into theaters for this one, should it make it that far.