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Romeo and Juliet: Steinfeld's Romeo is Douglas Booth; Holding a Candle to Zeffirelli & Luhrmann

Thompson on Hollywood By Sophia Savage | Thompson on Hollywood June 22, 2011 at 8:04AM

The latest adaptation of Romeo and Juliet, from Italian director Carlo Carlei (1993's Flight of the Innocent), now has a Romeo for its Juliet. Hailee Steinfeld will be joined by 19-year old Brit Douglas Booth, who is prettier than she is. Clearly this movie is targeted to a young girl demo.
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Thompson on Hollywood


The latest adaptation of Romeo and Juliet, from Italian director Carlo Carlei (1993's Flight of the Innocent), now has a Romeo for its Juliet. Hailee Steinfeld will be joined by 19-year old Brit Douglas Booth, who is prettier than she is. Clearly this movie is targeted to a young girl demo.

Previously cast were Holly Hunter (Nurse), Ed Westwick (Tybalt) and Kodi Smit-McPhee (Benvolio). Scribe Julian Fellowes (Gosford Park) is also producing with Lawrence Elman of Amber Entertainment, as well as Gabriele Muccino (director, Seven Pounds), Ileen Maisel and Mark Ordesky (both formerly of New Line). Romeo and Juliet shoots in Italy this summer.

Remember the Baz Luhrmann and Franco Zeffirelli versions, which have stood the test of time? Pictures and videos below:

Booth did well as Eustace in TV's Pillar of the Earth, co-starred with Miley Cyrus in LOL and is gearing to star opposite Ray Winstone in the BBC's forthcoming Great Expectations (another classic that keeps turning up--Mike Newell is prepping a new film). Steinfeld, the 14-year old Oscar nominee, is also attached to a pitch for a Sleeping Beauty adaptation, as well as a movie version of Cat Patrick's young adult novel, Forgotten, in which she'd play London Lane, a memory-challenged teenager who can only remember events from her future.

The classic Shakespearean tale has of course been done countless times before. Fifteen years ago, Baz Luhrmann's Romeo + Juliet (below, 70% Tomatometer) starred Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes, and it's 43 years since Franco Zeffirelli's Romeo and Juliet (below, 97% Tomatometer) starred Leonard Whiting and Olivia Hussey. These are very big shoes to fill: will this retelling hold a candle to its predecessors?

Thompson on Hollywood
Thompson on Hollywood

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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.