Oscars can do wonders for many actor’s careers, even nominations will put you on the map and aid you in getting work. For Hailee Steinfeld this has certainly become true, after True Grit, not only is her marquee value of ‘Oscar Nominated Actress’ going to come in handy around Hollywood but her raw talent is getting her noticed on the indie circuit. Hence today’s announcement that she is attached to another adaptation of Shakespeare’s classic tale of star crossed lovers: Romeo & Juliet, which is set to shoot in Italy in late spring on a $15 million budget.
The film is to be directed by Carlo Carlei, a relatively unknown director to mainstream audiences (i.e. I haven’t heard of him) although some may have. He’s directed lesser known arthouse and foreign language films Fluke and Flight of the Innocent. This particular film though does have some big names behind it, Oscar winner Julian Fellowes is writing the screenplay and producing alongside Pursuit of Happyness director Gabriele Muccino.
Steinfeld is obviously going to play Juliet and will do a fine job I imagine. I just wonder whether we need another incarnation of this particular Shakespearean tale, as good as it is, we’ve seen it done and done very well. For those looking for more a modern, punky version there’s Baz Luhrmann’s brilliant, exuberant, MTV-styled Romeo + Juliet. For the Shakespearean lovers of the Elizabethan period the Franco Zefferelli version, similarly shot in Italy is a faithful, very successful retelling of that story. Do we need it again? There’s plenty of other under seen Shakespeare plays worthy of screen adaptation, have one of those. King Lear would be good. (The Hollywood Reporter)