We’ve got a couple of casting stories for you this morning. First up, Paul Giamatti has joined the cast of Carlo Carlei’s period adaptation of Romeo and Juliet. Production begins in Italy this month, and Variety reports that Giamatti will be playing Friar Lawrence in the strict adaptation. Hailee Steinfeld is onboard as Juliet, while Douglas Booth will play her fair Romeo. The age-appropriate cast also includes Ed Westwick (Gossip Girl) as Tybalt and Kodi Smit-McPhee (Let Me In) as Benvolio. The adaptation was written by Gosford Park and Downton Abbey scribe Julian Fellowes, so we should be in for a good deal of English wordplay (huzzah!). Giamatti will next be seen in the star-studded musical Rock of Ages.
Additionally, Martin Freeman, Tim Curry, and Noel Clarke (Kidulthood) have been set to lend their voices to the animated pic Saving Santa. The film is the first animated effort from Gateway Films (Anuyahood) and Variety reports that the story centers on a clumsy elf who discovers the secret of Santa’s time travel device and sets out on a journey to save Santa’s kingdom after its location is discovered by an evil character. Finally, someone is doing a Santa Claus time travel story. Freeman is currently filming the two-part adaptation of The Hobbit.