Paul Giamatti To Star As Shakespearean Friar

He’s played small/large parts in almost every film since the Lumiere brothers filmed that train (he was the conductor!), and news is now emerging of his next project. Director Carlo Carlei has managed to lock the Sideways actor into the role of Friar Lawrence for his new adaptation of Romeo and Juliet.

Hailee Steinfeld of True Grit fame is set to star as the ill-fated Juliet while Douglas Booth (see the BBC version of Great Expectations for more of him) will play her star-cross’d lover. *SPOILER ALERT FOR ANYONE WHO DIDN’T DO GCSE ENGLISH* Both characters end up taking their lives with the unwitting help of Friar Lawrence, Giamatti’s character. So his role is rather an important one and living up to Pete Postlethwaite’s charismatic Friar figure in Luhnrman’s 1997 remake will be a tough job. But we reckon he can do it.

With a script by Downton Abbey supremo Julian Fellowes, Carlei is set to film in Mantua, which just so happens to be the city Romeo is banished to in the play.

There’ll also be some set work done at Rome’s famous Cinecitta Studios.

No word on when the Shakespearean rom-trag will hit screens but Giamatti will have abusy time working on this alongside Prey and upcoming TV movie, K Blows Top.