Hailee-Steinfeld-and-Douglas-Booth-in-Romeo-and-JulietItalian filmmaker Carlo Carlei returns behind the camera this year to bring us Romeo and Juliet, the latest adaptation of the classic play by William Shakespeare.

Carlei’s Romeo and Juliet was originally to be released on our shores this Valentine’s Day, but we’ve not heard much from the project in recent months. With its release date now set for the end of the year, however, the first trailer has debuted, giving us our first good look at the upcoming adaptation.

In the fair city of Verona. Romeo and Juliet, the children of the feuding Montague and Capulet families, meet at a feast and fall deeply in love. Despite the sworn disdain their families hold for one another, they steal away and are secretly wed by Friar Laurence.

It is not long, however, before trouble ensues…

Unaware of his daughter’s transgressions, Lord Capulet, Juliet’s father, has arranged for Juliet to take the hand of Count Paris in marriage. Devastated and defiant Juliet seeks the counsel of Friar Laurence, who concocts a devious plan that will alter the lives of both families forever…

Hailee Steinfeld and Douglas Booth star as the young lovers, with a strong supporting cast, led by Ed Westwick, Damian Lewis, Paul Giamatti, Natascha McElhone, Stellan Skarsgård, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Lesley Manville, Christian Cooke, and Tom Wisdom.

Carlei is directing from a script by Jullian Fellowes, perhaps best known in recent years as the creator of Downton Abbey.

For me, Baz Luhrmann’s 1996 adaptation, Romeo + Juliet, is the finest to date of all those putting Shakepeare’s tragic play on the big screen. Luhrmann translated the setting to modern day, and I thought it worked brilliantly. It will be interesting to see a big screen production take things back to the original setting.

Romeo and Juliet will be released in the UK on 26th July. Still no word yet on a US release date, but here’s to hoping it will be heading across the Atlantic later this year, too.

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