The interest surrounding the casting of 14-year-old Hailee Steinfeld as Juliet in Carlo Carlei's adaptation of Romeo and Juliet is a reminder of how very young Shakespeare's star-crossed lovers were. However, after Hailee's memorable performance as Mattie Ross in last year's True Grit, it's difficult to imagine anyone else more suited to the role.
Variety has confirmed that Juliet now has her Romeo and he is 19-year-old Douglas Booth who beat 300 other actors to the part. A British actor, Booth appeared in the television series Pillars of the Earth and will shortly be seen with Miley Cyrus in LOL.*
Other cast include Ed Westwick (Children of Men) as Tybalt, Holly Hunter (The Incredibles, The Piano) as the Nurse and Kodi Smit-McPhee (Let Me In) as Benvolio.
The adaptation is penned by Julian Fellowes, who has written screenplays for everything from Gosford Park and The Young Victoria to The Tourist and Downton Abbey. Fellowes addressed the matter of Hailee's youth to the Sunday Times (here via Vogue):
I wanted Hailee because she is the perfect age. Juliet is at that stage of what you might call a child/woman. Just like Hailee herself is. [It's] about that first love affair. We all remember it, don't we? There is never a love again like it.
Filming will begin in August this year in Verona and Sienna and it will be released some time in 2012.
*Yes, there's an upcoming Miley Cyrus film called LOL. I think they found it in a time capsule from 2008 – Brendon