Categories Romeo and Juliet

‘Romeo and Juliet’ Update

Swarovski Entertainment showed a brief preview of ‘Romeo and Juliet’ in Cannes on Saturday (Damian wasn’t in attendance). The film doesn’t have US distribution yet but it has been described as one of the “hot film titles” for US buyers and according to producers the “idea is to eventually land a U.S. deal and bring it out Stateside, possibly, though not necessarily, in 2013.” The film is scheduled to be released in the UK next year on February 14. Read more about the film’s Cannes preview below:

The family-run business presented a clip from its first co-produced and co-financed project to the market.

Swarovski Entertainment is serious about bringing more than bling to the movie production arena and is looking to build on the sparkle of the first feature from the stable Romeo and Juliet. The $17 million budgeted lavish costume drama, based on a script by Oscar winner Julian Fellowes, stars Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit) and Douglas Booth (From Time To Time).

Swarovski Entertainment chairwoman and the film’s executive producer Nadja Swarovski, Fellowes and co-producer Ileen Maisel showed four minutes of footage of the project, directed by Carlo Carlei, to a hanful of handpicked market-goers.

Swarovski told The Hollywood Reporter the commitment her family run company had made to the project “was substantial and far outweighed any other single commitment the company has made recently.”

“I feel like I’ve been brought into film production by a fairy godmother in Ileen [Maisel] and a godfather in Julian [Fellowes],” Swarovski said. Maisel, a former New Line International head, said she hopes the creative partnerships forged with Swarovski will go beyond this first outing for the jewellery giant. Maisel co-produces with Lawrence Elman through their Amber Entertainment banner.

The Swarovski family has a storied and glittering history in Hollywood having worked hand-in-hand with countless costume, jewellery and set designers on some of Hollywood’s most iconic productions. Swarovski described the move into co-production and financing as a “natural evolution” the company. Fellowes said a lavish costume adaptation of the Shakespearean tragedy was “a perfect match” for Swarovski.

The movie has pre-sold to Entertainment Film Distributors in the U.K., Icon for Australia and Rai for Italy. Other international territories inked for the picture include Iceland, Russia, South Korea and the Middle East. U.S. rights are being handled by Rena Ronson for the producers.


Categories Romeo and Juliet

Fellowes’ Romeo will put Twilight stars in the shade

Romeo and Juliet opens in the UK on February 14th next year.

Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson, stars of the Twilight movies, could soon find themselves replaced in the affections of teenage movie-goers by a pair of star-crossed, old school lovers who represent true romance, if Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes has his way.

The Oscar-winning writer has adapted Shakespeare’s Romeo And Juliet for the big screen, and it has just completed filming in Italy, with hot stars-in-the-making Douglas Booth (praised for his Pip in the BBC’s recent Great Expectations) and Hailee Steinfeld, who led the True Grit re-boot.

Fellowes said he and Ileen Maisel, the film’s producer, felt strongly that there hadn’t been a traditional version of Shakespeare’s tragedy for more than four decades, since Franco Zeffirelli shot an adaptation in the late Sixties.

Baz Luhrmann’s Nineties take on the tale, of course, was set in the modern day.

‘Love is life-shaping and moving,’ said Fellowes, adding that it was key to the film that Romeo and Juliet be chaste until they are married.

‘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.

‘One always sounds like “Disgusted of Cheltenham” when you have these kind of discussions, but there is room for an understanding of the power of love.’

He said he was asked if there was a bed scene in the movie.

‘The person said “Oh, that’s typical of today” and I responded that actually, Shakespeare wrote it. I’m not inventing it. It’s there in the play.’

And anyway, the love scene is about as innocent as you can get because Ms Steinfeld is only 15 and doesn’t turn 16 until December. The director Carlo Carlei didn’t want her to do anything explicit.

Fellowes told me he has tried to preserve all the ‘famous moments’ but believes he has made it accessible and understandable, so the story is very clear.

Ms Maisel felt Romeo And Juliet could be seen as an antidote to the vampire and dystopian fiction that abounds now, referring to the Twilight films and the blockbuster The Hunger Games (starring Jennifer Lawrence, which opens today).

Read the full article at the Daily Mail.

Categories Gallery Romeo and Juliet

Another on set pic

The website has posted more pictures from the set of Romeo and Juliet currently filming at the Piazza Sordello in Mantua, Italy. Damian Lewis is pictured above with Douglas Booth (Romeo).

Categories Gallery Romeo and Juliet

Romeo and Juliet On Set Pictures

Click here at the Grazzetta Di Mantova website for on set pictures of Romeo and Juliet filming at the Piazza Sordello in Mantua, Italy . The picture above seems to the only close-up of Damian as Lord Capulet. Juliet is being played by Hailee Steinfeld, Lady Capulet by Natascha McElhone.

Gallery Link:

Films > Romeo and Juliet (2012) > On set

Categories Romeo and Juliet

‘Homeland’ Star Damian Lewis Cast in ‘Romeo and Juliet’

Homeland star Damian Lewis has been cast as Lord Capulet in the Carlo Carlei-directed adaptation of Romeo and Juliet, which began filming ten days ago in Italy. Additional new casting includes Natascha McElhone (Lady Capulet), Stellan Skarsgard (Prince of Verona), Lesley Manville (The Nurse), Christian Cooke (Mercutio), Tomas Arana (Lord Montague), Laura Morante (Lady Montague) and Leon Vitali (Apothecary).

In this latest version of the classic Shakespeare play, True Grit star Hailee Steinfeld stars as Juliet, Douglas Booth as Romeo, Paul Giamatti as Friar Laurence, Kodi Smit-McPhee as Benvolio and Ed Westwick as Tybalt. Oscar-winning screenwriter Julian Fellowes (Gosford Park) has written the adaptation, which while true to its original period setting is designed to draw a younger, new-generation audience.

“We felt that it had been quite a long time since there had been a romantic, traditional rendition of the piece,” says Fellowes, pointing to Franco Zeffirelli’s 1968 version. “People have made Romeo since then — and some very good ones — but they were set in modern Ohio or whatever. This isn’t that. This is the romantic medieval love story as conceived by Shakespeare. We felt that really what we needed was just to make it slightly more accessible to today’s generation. That, I hope, is all we’ve done. My dream would be that you watch it and you think you’ve watched the whole thing written by Shakespeare.”

Baz Luhrmann famously adapted the play to modern day in his 1996 feature Romeo + Juliet, starring a young Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes. Fellowes notes that he tightened the play to fit into a standard two-hour feature running time, but that he did very little re-writing since the themes of young love are universal.

“Every generation is interested in love,” says Fellowes, who’s currently writing the third season of Downtown Abbey. “I mean, there is something about young love that is heartbreaking, and I think every teenager in the world would agree. All of that is very powerful. The point about teenage love is it’s before cynicism comes in to reshape one’s attitudes. You love when you’re young in a way that you’ll probably never love again.”

Fellowes is also producing along with Ileen Maisel and Lawrence Elman of Amber Entertainment, Simon Bosanquet of Generator Entertainment, Alexander Koll and Dimitra Tsingou of Swarovski Entertainment and Doug Mankoff and Andy Spaulding of Echo Lake Entertainment. Filming is taking place at Cinecitta Studios in Rome, and in the towns of Mantua and Siena.

The producers and filmmakers were adamant about casting true-to-the-age actors to embody the young characters in the story. Steinfeld, Booth and Smit-McPhee are all teenagers.

“Romeo and Juliet has to be retold every 15 years,” says executive producer Nadja Swarovski, whose new Swarovski Entertainment film division is launching with the production. “And the cast that they have chosen falls in line with our support of young talent. Yes, it is a risk that we’re taking, but it’s a risk we want to take because we absolutely believe in the talent.”

The WME-repped Lewis has recently appeared in the features The Escapist and Your Highness. He also was a star of the HBO mini-series Band of Brothers.


Categories Download Interviews News Radio Romeo and Juliet

On Weekend Wogan, New project news

Damian Lewis was on Weekend Wogan on Sunday. You can listen to it here at the BBC radio site (his part begins at the 1:24 mark) or you can download here from our Media archive.

He said in the interview that he’ll next be working in Italy on Carlo Carlei’s adaption of Romeo And Juliet. The film is being touted as “Romeo and Juliet” for the “Twilight” generation. More on the project:

IMDb – Romeo and Juliet
Variety – Paul Giamatti joins Carlei’s ‘Romeo’