‘Romeo and Juliet’ Trailer – A Traditional Shakespeare Retelling

Published 2 years ago by , Updated July 26th, 2013 at 8:13 am,

Radical stylistic re-interpretations of famous stories and literary works are fairly popular right now – see director Joe Wright’s Anna Karenina or Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby, for case in point – which makes director Carlo Carlei’s upcoming traditional approach to adapting William’s Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet seem almost refreshing and unusual by comparison.

Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit) and Douglas Booth (the 2011 Great Expectations mini-series) are playing the star-crossed teen lovers in Carlei’s cinematic take on the Bard’s work, which was even shot on location in Verona, Italy. The trailer indicates this is very much a purist envisioning of the play in cinematic form, complete with costumes designed by award-winner Carlo Poggi (Cold Mountain, Miracle at St. Ana) and late 16th/early 17th-century scenery that appears historically-accurate – enough for the film’s purposes, anyway.

Judging by the trailer footage, Carlei’s Romeo and Juliet adaptation features some handsome cinematography by David Tatttersall (the Star Wars prequel trilogy). Meanwhile, the adapted screenplay by Oscar-winner Julia Fellowes (the creator of Downton Abby) appears to keep a healthy percentage of the Bard’s scenarios and dialogue intact; combine that with a tame atmosphere and clean technical style, and this seems like the kind of Shakespeare adaptation that high school teachers would like to show their students (which IS a compliment, in this case).

romeo juliet steinfeld booth Romeo and Juliet Trailer   A Traditional Shakespeare Retelling

Steinfeld looks to leave another good impression with her turn as Juliet, while the part of Romeo will allow a larger number of moviegoers a chance to see Booth flex his drama muscles, before he costars in director Darren Aronofsky’s Noah and the Wachowskis’ Jupiter Ascending next year (I’m guessing most people missed his performance opposite Miley Cyrus in LOL).

The supporting cast is equally strong, featuring people like Paul Giamatti (The Amazing Spider-Man 2), Damian Lewis (Homeland), Stellan Skarsgård (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), Natasha McElhone (Californication) and Kodi Smit-McPhee (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes), among others.


Romeo and Juliet opens in the UK on July 26th, 2013; it does not have a U.S. release date yet. We’ll keep you posted.

Source: Youtube

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  1. Wow. Steinfeld has sure grown up.

  2. This looks really promising. And I rather dislike Romeo & Juliet.

  3. Looks good and all, but does anybody really believe we need ANOTHER Romeo & Juliet story? Hasn’t this been adapted a million times before? I think I’ll pass.

    • Yah, was thinking the same, tho I like the story of R&J.

  4. Wait a minute, was that Damien Lewis? Never mind, you can count me in!

  5. Now THIS is a remake I can support. Looks gorgeous. The best part is how they deliver Shakespeare’s lines in a natural and conversational way. The big problem with past adaptations is how stilted and artificial the dialogue sounds.

  6. FINALLY an original idea for a movie!! I mean, it’s not like we haven’t seen a “retelling” or another “imaginative” way to tell this tale…… “Can’t wait”… (yawn)

  7. hailee stanfield is awesome!! this looks legit! The trailer almost makes it look like she lives tho.. At the same time Paul Giamatti losing it makes me think its still the traditional ending.

  8. Franco Zeffirelli’s version of Romeo and Juliet cannot be beat.

    • I totally agree. The first time I saw Zeffirelli’s version I completely fell in love with the film, it nearly brought me to tears. And that Nino Rota score, Oh my God, it remains one of my favorite films to this day. I also think that version is unbeatable, but I’m still going to give it a chance to this new rendering of the story. I believe Haille Steinfeld will be a great Juliet.

  9. The concept of remake/reboot has assumed a life all its own in the praxis that is modern filmmaking, and with an audience willing to indulge the iteration no matter how many times it’s reiterated.

    A sober adaptation of William Shakespeare’s play is indeed novel; and as a competitive film in the marketplace where talent as well as instinct (to shoot a movie like this) needs a boost from serendeipity, getting any film off the ground never gets so easy that it takes no more than talent.

    To get any movie made nowadays is luck; for it to make money requires a minor miracle. ROMEO AND JULIET will need both.

  10. This actually looks mildly good. I will watch it on Netflix when it comes out.