Hailee Steinfeld is still searching for her Romeo, but she has locked down a cantankerous cousin in “Gossip Girl” star Ed Westwick. Variety reports that the British thesp will play the pivotal role of Tybalt in a new adaptation of the classic Shakespearean “Romeo and Juliet” from Italian filmmaker Carlo Carlei.
Holly Hunter recently jumped on the project, which sees 14-year-old Steinfeld as an age-appropriate Juliet Capulet set in traditional Shakespearean era, who falls for Romeo, the son of rival family Montague. Hunter plays Juliet’s nurse and confidant who helps the lovers sneak around, while Westwick’s Tybalt is a hot-tempered supporter of the rivalry between the families, and a pivotal showdown with Romeo sets the course for the tragedies that follow. Steinfeld replaces Lily Collins in the Juliet role, who had been attached to the project since last year but whose schedule is now filling up fast with one high profile role after another.
Westwick has been a regular on “Gossip Girl” since its first season in 2007 and was last seen in British comedy “Chalet Girl” opposite breakout star Felicity Jones. Like his GG co-stars, he is making quite a leap to the big screen now, recently completing production on a strong supporting role in Clint Eastwood’s “J. Edgar” with Leonardo DiCaprio and Armie Hammer.
Shooting on the new “Romeo and Juliet” is set to begin this summer in Italy though no Romeo has been locked down yet.