When you're a 14-year-old actress, there are only so many iconic film roles you can do. Apparently, Hailee Steinfeld is going to try them all. At the end of last month, she was attached to a retelling of "Sleeping Beauty," and now she's supposedly close to signing up for a new version of "Romeo & Juliet."
Let's first reflect for a moment and realize that the last major big-screen adaptation of the Shakespeare tragedy was 1996's "Romeo + Juliet," which is now 15 years old. (It's one of the last movies Leonardo DiCaprio did before "Titanic," which completely changed his career.) So we're probably due for a new one, and Steinfeld would play Juliet if negotiations all work out.
What's odd is that, fresh off her Oscar nomination for "True Grit," she'd surely be in a position to grab some prime roles. And while playing Juliet is certainly a high-profile gig, this new version is directed by a relative unknown, Carlo Carlei, an Italian filmmaker who's mostly been doing TV movies of late. (Put it this way: His biggest credit, "The Flight of the Innocent," came out three years before Steinfeld was born.)
Granted, this new "Romeo & Juliet" was written by "Gosford Park" Oscar-winner Julian Fellowes and is produced by "Pursuit of Happyness" director Garbiele Muccino, but nevertheless it definitely suggests that she's not just jumping on whatever Hollywood projects come her way. Or maybe she wasn't all that thrilled with what she's seen and wants to actually be a lead in something worthwhile, even if it's not with a major filmmaker. Of course, after you've essentially been the lead in a Coen brothers movie your first time out, you probably have the right to be a little choosy: At 14, she's already achieved more than a lot of actors do in their entire career.
Hailee Steinfeld in Talks to Star in Indie 'Romeo & Juliet' (Exclusive) [The Hollywood Reporter]