For me (and, I suspect, for most of us), Relativity Media’s Romeo And Juliet (10.11) will hinge on how well Hailee Steinfeld and Douglas Booth can breathe life into William Shakespeare‘s prose. I’m presuming that Steinfeld, who turns 17 on 12.11.13 but who was 15 when during principal photography, has the chops to be at least pretty good as Juliet. Stellan Skarsgard, Damian Lewis, Paul Giamatti and Ed Westwick costar. Julian Fellowes‘ adaptation was directed by Carlo Carlei.
Steinfeld was cast in 2011 when she was 14. Even though Juliet is 13 in Shakespeare’s play, Fellowes’ script was allegedly written with a 20 year-old actress in mind. (Why? What for?) The film’s Wiki page includes this quote from Carlei: “There was a lovemaking scene that included nudity for the married Romeo and Juliet. As soon as Steinfeld [joined the film], all nudity and lovemaking [were] excised from the script. It will be romantic and age-appropriate for a 14-year old.” Fellowes adds that “we did feel it would be nice to have romantic, married love, and that purity was an important part of the film. They don’t make love until they have been married.”
In other words, Carlei’s film is going to be a somewhat prudish, family-friendly revision that any devout churchgoer would be comfortable with.