We expect during promo rounds for this movie, Hailee Steinfeld and Douglas Booth will spend a great amount of time speaking of their admiration for Baz Luhrmann’s 1996 version of Shakespeare’s classic “Romeo and Juliet” and how they’re in no way trying to top it, and judging from the first trailer for Carlo Carlei’s new take on the tragic romance, they’d be wise to make that clear up front.
Forget Luhrmann’s modern twist on the tale, Carlei’s vision clearly takes much more after Franco Zeffirelli’s 1968 traditionally set film, which is still a classic, and which is perhaps partly the reason why this looks so uninspired. Everyone, from Booth as Romeo and Steinfeld as Juliet to “Gossip Girl” star Ed Westwick as Tybalt and Paul Giamatti as Friar Lawrence, looks the part in their lush costumes and questionable hair pieces, and are speaking the Bard’s words (as abridged by “Downton Abbey” creator Julian Fellowes), but there’s nothing here that says this is a definitive and new “Romeo and Juliet” for a new generation, which Carlie said he wanted to make.
Perhaps it’s too soon to tell and the teenagers discovering this tale for the first time from the 2013 film will be moved the same way Luhrmann’s film moved me in 1996. In any case, the British kids will get to see it first, on July 26th, while there’s no word yet on a US release. For now you can watch the first trailer below.