After coming thisclose to snagging the lead role in The Hunger Games, Hailee Steinfeld has finally picked her first post-Oscar role, and it might sound a little familiar. According to THR Steinfeld will star in Romeo and Juliet, an indie production going forward with Italian director Carlo Carlie and a script from Gosford Park's Julian Fellowes. It's budgeted around $15 million and is set to shoot in Italy later this spring, though there's not yet a Romeo on board.
If we thought that True Grit was a demanding role for a young actress, Romeo & Juliet proves it can get even tougher. And even though Steinfeld has no apparent background in Shakespeare, True Grit did make for a good audition, a challenge in arcane language and behavior rooted in an earlier historical period. Steinfeld's a better choice for the role than, say, Chloe Moretz, who has proven the ability to be hip and youthful for a modern audience but has never ventured into the past for a film.
It seems impossible that they'll find a Romeo with Steinfeld's bona fides-- there's no male Oscar nominee even remotely in her age range-- so it'll be interesting to see which young actor is willing to step up to the plate. After seeing her wield a gun in True Grit, I wouldn't blame anyone for being a little intimidated.