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Will a Rosaline by any other name smell as sweet? We’re about to find out now that director Michael Sucsy plans to tackle William Shakespeare’s classic tragedy Romeo and Juliet for an updated telling.
Sucsy, who wrote and directed 2009’s Grey Gardens with Drew Barrymore and Jessica Lange, has agreed to helm an adaptation of Rebecca Serle’s debut novel Rosaline, which views the classic Romeo and Juliet tale through the eyes of Romeo’s ex-girlfriend. Variety says the film will be produced by Shawn Levy for Fox 2000, though it will not be updated to modern times and set in a high school, as was once reported.
“O Rosaline, Rosaline! Wherefore art thou Rosaline?” It doesn’t have the same ring to it as Shakespeare’s original line from Romeo and Juliet. Yet Rosaline continues a popular trend of taking an accepted classic and viewing it from a different perspective to find a fresh take on the narrative. It worked very well for the Broadway smash Wicked, which cast the Wicked Witch of the West in a new light. Perhaps we’ll think differently of Romeo and Juliet after Rosaline has had her say?
Sucsy, meanwhile, is an inspired choice to helm the material. Aside from the fact that his birthday is on Valentine’s Day (Feb. 14, 1973), the director’s coming off of the magnificent Gardens for HBO, which collected a handful of Primetime Emmy Awards in 2009 and even scored Barrymore a Golden Globe. Perhaps Sucsy could convince Barrymore to follow him over to Rosaline? The actress already tried her hand at remaking a classic story when she put a new spin on Cinderella for the underrated Ever After. And so long as Sucsy keeps garden gnomes out of his picture, unlike this years animated ridiculousness Gnomeo & Juliet, Rosaline will be getting off on the right foot.