Romeo & Juliet is the timeless story of star-crossed lovers from warring families. The families of Montague and Capulet will use any excuse to publicly fight in the streets of Verona, so when Romeo (Douglas Booth) falls for Juliet (Hailee Steinfeld), it quickly receives the wrath of both of their families, when all they want to do is be together forever. Written by Julian Fellowes and directed by Carlo Carlei, the film also stars Paul Giamatti, Damian Lewis, Natascha McElhone, Ed Westwick, Kodi Smit-McPhee and Lesley Manville.
At the film’s press day, screenwriter Julian Fellowes (who is also the creator/writer of the hit drama series Downton Abbey) spoke to Collider for this exclusive interview about why he was excited to tackle Romeo & Juliet for the big screen, how he worked exclusively from the play itself, and watching actors Douglas Booth and Hailee Steinfeld bring it to life. He also talked about how viewers seem to hold him personally responsible, anytime an actor leaves Downton Abbey, how Paul Giamatti came to be doing the Christmas episode for this season, that he doesn’t know exactly how long the show will continue to run for, even though there will definitely be a fifth season, and how he’s writing a series for American television, called The Guilded Age, that he will do after Downton Abbey is finished. Check out what he had to say after the jump, and be aware that there are some spoilers.