Paul Giamatti Joins Romeo & Juliet

As Friar Lawrence

Now that shooting is set to kick off shortly in Italy, director Carlo Carlei is filling out the rest of the cast for his new adaptation of Romeo And Juliet. And the latest actor to step aboard? Paul Giamatti.

The Barney's Version actor will appear as Friar Lawrence, a key advisor to both Romeo and Juliet in the play, who likely regrets helping them get together given their tragic end. Kids back in those days, eh?

Douglas Booth, most recently seen in the Beeb’s Great Expectations, is on as Romeo, while True Grit’s Hailee Steinfeld will be Juliet. Ed Westwick and Kodi Smit-McPhee have signed on to play Tybalt and Benvolio.

With a script by Downton Abbey supremo Julian Fellowes (adapting work originally created by some bloke called Will, or possibly by Rhys Ifans if Roland Emmerich was right all along - kidding!), 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.

Giamatti, meanwhile, was last seen in The Ides Of March. He has Rock Of Ages and Cosmopolis set to arrive this year and has been in Sundance promoting Don Coscarelli’s new horror comedy John Dies At The End.