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Hailey Steinfeld and Douglas Booth are the star-crossed lovers in the latest incarnation of arguably Shakespeare’s best known tale. Will they be able to make their mark given previous versions?

Studying Romeo and Juliet is a rite of passage for every high school student. Inevitably, at some point during the course the instructor will play the 1968 Franco Zeffirelli classic. If the teacher is particularly progressive the Baz Luhrmann 1996 Romeo + Juliet , hailed at the time as the rock and roll version, might also be seen.

So is there room for another spin on this classic, tragic love-story? According to the LA Times, Italian director, Carlo Carlei’s publicity team, that is courting distributors in Cannes this week, certainly hopes so.

“It’s a classic story that we want every teenager in the world to come see,” Ileen Maisel, one of the film’s producers, told 24 Frames, adding that even though the dialogue retained Shakespeare’s flavor, it was uttered in “understandable iambic pentameter.”

Or as one of the film’s publicists put it: “This is ‘Romeo and Juliet’ for the Twilight Generation.”

Certainly with an OSCAR nomination under her belt, Hailey Steinfeld has youth and talent on her side. Douglas Booth is best known to most Americans for his appearance in the Miley Cyrus film LOL. On the other hand, he received critical acclaim for his work in both Pillars of the Earth and Great Expectations.

Are audiences hungry for another version of Romeo and Juliet? Are Steinfeld and Booth the best choices for the iconic title roles?

  • Elisabetecalixto

    Baz Luhrmann 1996 Romeo + Juliet , is the most amazing version of Romeu and Juliet story…  We don´t need another version. :P

    • Jelly

       I freaking love that movie.

    • Katelyn

      That first shot of DiCaprio as Romeo with the sunset in the background…*swoon*

  • http://twitter.com/mr_lucien Lucien

    I hated Luhrmann’s version, but this is COMPLETELY unnecessary 

  • http://twitter.com/emilyecstasyTM Emily Bryan

    Eh, I wouldn’t pay to see it. There’s enough Romeo & Juliet spins to keep me satisfied. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Maria-Wang/542480760 Maria Wang

    No! It’s be done to death.  

  • Jason

    *Hailee 

  • kate

    why couldn’t this have come out last year? i would rather watched this in english than the others. I just finished studying romeo and Juliet!

    • chellearia

      For the next class of English students then.

      I personally never tire of the story so I’m for it.

  • akacj7

    loved Baz Luhrmann’s version, but I wanna see a trailer for this new one! I love Hailee Steinfeld! Or, well, this will be, let’s say, 2 of 3 in a 3-part litmus test, cause I guess it’s not realistic to judge her on one film, no matter how amazing she was in it.

  • Theaterboy1

    I don’t know why but I don’t like it at all when they modernize Shakespeare so I have been waiting for someone to do a “true” Romeo and Juliet movie like the 1968 version (or any other Shakespeare movie for that matter). No disrespect to the 1996 version starring Leonardo DiCaprio, I’m sure he did a good job and it was a great and fun movie for a lot of people but I haven’t seen it and I don’t know if I will or not. But I am definitely seeing this version! I can’t wait!

    • Hermione Granger

      I completely agree! In fact I don’t really like it when they ‘modernize’ period movies. I think it takes away a little bit of the charm and meaning. For me at least, part of the reason the plot events/characters even make sense is because of the setting.

      • Rdh014

        Well I think it is important to showcase how Shakespeare can still be relevant in any time period. The problems we face, the way people are: they are the same throughout all history. Modernizing is way cool in my opinion. You should check out David Tennant doing Hamlet for the Royal Shakespeare Company.

      • PotionWillow207

        I always think it’s hilarious when people say this because there is no mention in the play of when all the action happens. So it could be set in any period. That is what makes Romeo and Juliet such timeless story: because it is literally timeless.

  • http://www.facebook.com/iDomi Domi Ed

    Luhrmann’s version is my favorite.
    I don’t know who Hailee Steinfeld is…

    I don’t mind a remake because it’s bound to happen at some point.
    It is Shakespeare after all….

    I doubt I’ll pay to see this but…I didn’t even know they were making a new one.
    I don’t know anything about who is cast or anything.

  • Zack

    I hated the 1996 one…ugh, it was insult to Shakespeare. We just finished studying RJ and our teacher made us watch the film, and it was horrible! If this one is closer to the play, than I’m all for it!

  • Katniss79

    I would like to see a new version of the story that is not modernized. The ’96 version is a little ridiculous, although I do love Leo… Its funny for me whenever R&J is mentioned because my Shakespeare prof hated the play!

  • Katelyn

    The good thing about the ’96 R+J is that it helps students understand the dialogue better.  Sure, it’s a bit weird and melodramatic, but the original dialogue against a modernized backdrop helps Shakespearean Noobs get a better idea of what’s going on. 

    But who knows about this new one.  I really liked Pillars of the Earth, so maybe this one will be great. 

    • Samuel

      I agree, I think the the great thing about the ’96 film was that they kept the original Shakespearian dialogue. If they just have a rubbish script it’ll really be unenjoyable to watch.

  • rdh014

    Ugh. I hate Romeo and Juliet (and I love Shakespeare!). 

    The entire play makes me want to go around smacking 13 year olds…

  • goldensnidget

    the thing with Romeo and Juliet is that people forget so often how you Juliet’s supposed to be. She’s 13, and they never do that. Of course, I can see why, but in a play I saw of it in February, they made the actress look really young by her hairstyle and clothes, and it was that much more powerful.

    That production was by far the best I’ve ever seen – it actually made me weep, and I never cry at that sort of thing. So I wonder how this film will compare…

    • PotionWillow207

      Yeah, people think that it’s about teenage romance. But any theatre or literature person who knows what they’re talking about will tell you that it’s a story about a 25 year old man trying to get into a 13 year old girl’s pants. The end. It has nothing to do with young love.

      • Samuel

        Hmm…I don’t think it ever says how old Romeo is, I don’t think 25 though. Maybe 18 or 19…

      • http://crazyloveexpolsions.tumblr.com/ HPfanatic

        Actually, Romeo is 16……. Paris is about 25, though.

  • Rosalie

    I’m so sick of movies trying to market to the “twilight generation”
    Can’t films just be marketed to everyone especially if it’s as versatile as Shakespeare

  • namesaretoomainstream

    you’re trying to market a movie of a devastatingly intelligent story to the most unintelligent audience you can cater to. The movie is either going to be really horrible and make a lot of money, or it’ll be really good and make no money.

  • Katiekins

    Our class watched the first scene of both versions, and we voted to watch the 60s version because the people talked more slowly and were easier to understand. And the Romeo looked like Zac Efron. As to the subject of the new movie, I really hope it’s good, and I will probably go see it.

  • Emily Brett

    Hailey steinfeld is perfect for Juliet…she’s an incredible actress with such a youthful persona. Don’t know about Booth…haven’t seen anything he’s in. As for the twilight reference…well. Well. Let’s hope the publicist is just that: the publicist. Not the director.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Maria-Wang/542480760 Maria Wang

    How dare ye compare Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet to Twilight!

    • PotionWillow207

       Ummm, did you actually read the article? Because no one compared Twilight to Romeo and Juliet.

  • Fan

    When is the movie coming out? I’m all for a new version of Romeo and Juliet!

  • Catherine

    Ha!  My teacher played the 1996 version, but not the 1968 version.  Though I did see the 1968 version with my parents.

  • Samuel

    eh, marketing it specifically to ‘Twilight’ fans is a bit annoying considering the series has very little credibility to it, but I suppose it makes sense to modernize it yet again, to keep interest for kids studying it at school. I always enjoy the new film adaptations of Romeo and Juliet, the Leonardo di Caprio 1996 version is one of my favourite films. 

  • LilyLuna

    ‘The Twilight Generation’? Bahahahahahahahaha.

  • Katie

    haha Im a freshman and we just finished reading Romeo and Juliet… we watched parts of the 1968 version because watching the full thing would “take too long” *sigh* 

    • Katie

      On a different note the 1996 version looks ridiculous xD 

      • LilyLuna

        I just finished Sophomore year, last year my Freshman class watched the ’96 version as we read. It was completely ridiculous, but I can;t deny that it made reading the play much more entertaining, we looked forward to watching the scenes after we finished reading them.

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