I’m not quite in countdown mode, nonetheless, I am very much anticipating the new version of Romeo and Juliet which is FINALLY being released in the US. I have been following its progress for the past two years, waiting, watching for news, photo releases, projected film dates. And finally, yes finally, the new Romeo and Juliet will be out in theaters in the fall. First they said February, then it was July, and then I heard September, and unless they’ve changed it again, it should be coming out about the time school is back in full swing. Field trip, anyone?
Another reason I’m so excited about a new version of Romeo and Juliet is because it’s overdue for a freshening up. The 1968 version with Olivia Hussey had its moments, and although it didn’t follow the play exactly, it does give students a fairly good idea of the tragedy of the star-crossed lovers. West Side Story is the classic sixties adaptation, and once again, it is not the true play. The 1990s version with Leonardo D. and Claire strays too far from the actual play to count as a true teachable film version. Interestingly enough, my ninth graders either love it or despise it, due to its style. Of course, they all adore Gnomeo and Juliet, which is cute, yet again, strays so far from the play I only serve it up as an inducement,provided they get all their R&J assignments in by the end of the quarter.
Other reasons I’m looking forward to the new version:
1. Hailee Steinfeld as Juliet. She owned the part of Mattie in True Grit, and held her own against Jeff Bridges and Matt Damon, who were also impressed with her. I can’t wait to see what she does with Juliet.
2. Updated cinematography. 1968 to 2013 means improvements in the quality of production.
3. I’m really tired of the 1968 Zeferelli movie. I have taught ninth grade for 10 plus years with three to four sections each year, which means I’ve watched the film, oh about 40 times. Yeah, I’m ready for a new version.
4. Paul Giametti as Friar Lawrence. I’m a Paul G fan, for sure.
5. Julian Fellowes adapted the play, (Downton Abbey), and that in itself is a huge reason my anticipation factor is revving up.
Anyone else anticipating a new Juliet with her Romeo?