Are “Twilight” tweens and teens hungry for romance? They fell in love with Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart as Edward Cullen and Bella Swan. But would they react the same to the original starred crossed lovers, Romeo and Juliet?
Oscar-winning British screenwriter Julian Fellowes thinks they will if the story is updated. He’s working on a screen play that will feature up-and-comer Lily Collins, 21,, the daughter of UK singing icon Phil Collins.
“We want to tell Romeo and Juliet as clearly as we can, paring down Shakespeare’s language,” says Fellowes, who wrote the original screenplay for thriller “The Tourist, shooting in Venice with Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie.
So far the male lead hasn’t been picked. But the names being bandied about include Twilight hunk Taylor Lautner, according to deadlinehollywood.
Lautner, who has a dedicated Twilight following as Jacob Black, the vampire flick’s shape-shifting werewolf, is already starring opposite Collins in John Singleton’s upcoming movie “Abduction.”
The movie is set to begin filming this summer in Pittsburgh.
But as yet, no male lead has been named for the Fellowes project. Still, Lautner makes sense, since the movie is directly targeting “Twilight’s” audience.
“This generation hasn’t had its own Romeo and Juliet,” he tells blogger Tim Adler. “My generation had the Franco Zeffirelli version, while John Gielgud was Romeo for my parents’ generation. For me, Romeo and Juliet is the iconic love story.”
The film is slated to go into production in Italy in the fall, and Collins is already signed on. The modestly budgeted $12 million film will be shot in the Renaissance Verona, where Shakespeare’s play takes place.
Director Gabriele Muccino (“Seven Pounds”) will produce with Ileen Maisel and Mark Ordesky from Amber Entertainment. Carlo Carlei (“The Flight of the Innocent”) will direct, according to movie database IMDb.
Collins recently played the daughter Sandra Bullock’s character in the “The Blind Side.” She began acting at the age of two in the BBC series “Growing Pains.”
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