"It is the east, and Rosaline is the sun, at least until I meet someone new." Universal’s upcoming comedic spin on Romeo and Juliet, Rosaline, has been carrying on the way that Romeo did, moving from one woman to the next with the slightest of glances back. The fifth and latest actress being eyed for the title role is Felicity Jones, and negotiations are currently being made to get her secured. She’s a smart actress whose performances aren’t always seen by a lot of people, but Universal will definitely want to put an all-ages riff on William Shakespeare’s most beloved (and retold) romance in a wide selection of theaters.
Jones, who was in Julie Taymor’s 2010 adaptation of Shakespeare’s The Tempest, would play the unseen but casually spoken about ex-girlfriend of Romeo’s, whom he’d dumped once he caught sight of her cousin Juliet near the beginning of the play. The subsequent incidents from that tale play out from Rosaline’s vindictive and melancholy perspective, as she watches the two fall madly in love, with Romeo unaware of just how crazy Juliet can be. The film is based on the 2012 novel Wish You Were Mine by Rebecca Serle, whose male character’s name is Rob, but THR refers to him as Romeo, and that would make more sense from a marketing standpoint.
Produced by Shawn Levy through his company 21 Laps, Rosaline will be the first feature from Alex Timbers, with a script written by Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber, the duo responsible for penning the romances in last year’s The Spectacular Now and 2009’s 500 Days of Summer. Both of those focus on love restricted to a small amount of time, which is pretty much the case with this one, too, as well as the upcoming adaptation of The Fault in Our Stars, which they also wrote. So hopefully their version of this story is as clever and effective, for I believe it was Shylock who said, "If you wrong us, shall we not tell our friends to skip this one?"
I’ll stop misquoting now.
Jones is no stranger to troubled romances on film, as she made her breakthrough in Drake Doremus’ Like Crazy, worried about marrying the wrong guy in Cheerful Weather for the Wedding, and her last film, 2013’s The Invisible Woman, saw her playing Charles Dickens’ younger lover on the side. She recently wrapped Theory of Everything, in which she plays Stephen Hawking’s wife Jane, and she’ll be seen later this year in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and the crime drama True Story with James Franco and Jonah Hill. Take a peek at her smooching Ray Fiennes in The Invisible Woman’s trailer below.
Rosaline started up back in 2011 with The Vow director Michael Sucsy signed on. Since then, it’s been looked at by Keira Knightley, Deborah Ann Woll, Lily Collins and Allison Williams. Will Jones drink the poison and make it all the way to the final product? Let’s hope so.