The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.1512 Friday, 27 August 1999.
Date: Friday 27 Aug 1999 07:48:14 -0400
Subject: Film Prequel to R+J?
From COMING ATTRACTIONS
Studio: 20th Century Fox.
Production Company: Bazmark Productions.
Project Phase: In Development.
Who's In It: Leonardo DiCaprio (Romeo Montague); John Leguizamo
(Tybalt); Jamie Kennedy (Sampson); Dash Mihok (Benvolio); Harold
Perrineau Jr (Mercutio); Zak Orth (Gregory); Vincent Laresca (Abra);
Carlos Martin Manzo (Petruchio); Vondie Curtis-Hall (The Prince); Brian
Dennehy (Ted Montague); Paul Sorvino (Fulgencio Capulet); Pete
Postlethwaite (Father Laurence); Claire Danes (Juliet Capulet).
Who's Making It: Donald McAlpine (Director); Craig Pearce
(Screenwriter); Baz Luhrmann, Gabriella Martinelli (Producers); Based on
characters created by William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.
Premise: The prequel to the 1996 film William Shakespeare's Romeo +
Release Date: Thanksgiving 2000.
Comments: This project had been nothing more than a studio in-joke
before Titanic became the number one blockbuster of all time. After
initially completing Romeo + Juliet, Luhrmann pitched the idea of a
prequel to Fox execs, telling them all of the actors would be interested
in making another story that told of their lives before the first film.
Even though William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet was released it made a
small profit, Fox didn't seriously consider it until the end of last
year when Luhrmann again approached the studio-but this time with the
official endorsement of DiCaprio and Danes.
Since then the project has rapidly come together. McAlpine (who was the
Director of Photography on R+J) will helm Craig Pearce's
pre-Shakespearian script. The supporting cast have all signed on for the
prequel, including Danes who will only have a cameo appearance and never
meet DiCaprio's character on-screen, thus ensuring the continuity
remains intact between the two shows.
Rumors: The prequel will feature three brand-new characters created
specifically for this Shakespearian universe:
Rosaline: Mentioned a few times in R+J, she'll be an important part of
the prequel. Her break-up with Romeo will send him on a downward spiral.
A few A-list actress have been mentioned for the part: Reese
Witherspoon, Julia Stiles, Rachel Weisz, Renee Zellweger and suprisingly
enough Kate Winslet. If Fox can get Winslet to star opposite DiCaprio
again, who knows what will happen?
Victor Capulet: A brand new character, rumors has it that he's Juliet's
brother. Apparently his death would spark the feud between the two great
families. A few names have been thrown around including Freddie Prinze
Jr., Casey Affleck, Giovanni Ribisi, Jim Caviezel and Paul Walker.
Julio: Little is known about this character except that he's apparently
neutral to the feud between the Montagues and Capulets. Fox is
negotiating hard to get Matt Damon to play this role.
[Page draft submitted by that thespian 'Deadpool'.]
April 1, 1999... Daily Variety announced this project is greenlighted
and will begin to shoot in early June. It is part of a two picture deal
with Leo, the first movie being the already-filming The Beach.
DiCaprio's salary will be $20 million. Casting for the new character
roles has started. Expect a lot of focus on Jamie Kennedy character,
because of his Scream success.
[Scoops by 'Laughing Hard', 'Xsit44', Dave, and 'Deadpool'.]