This week’s second revisionist take on Romeo and Juliet comes from David Baddiel, some time stand-up comedy rock star of almost absurd fame. He’s to make his directorial debut, having previously written Josh Appignanesi’s The Infidel. Well – if I can call it that. Everybody just thinks of it as David Baddiel’s The Infidel. Take that, auteur theory.
In Baddiel’s version of the story, Romeo and Brittney, a high schooler goes off to bed in modern day New Jersey and then wakes up in 13th century Verona – and in the very person of Juliet no less. It’s not too dissimilar a set-up to ITV’s Lost in Austen, which saw Elizabeth Bennet swap places with a 21st century girl, though the basic ideas at work have a lot of precedents: Quantum Leap, Peggy Sue Got Married, The Purple Rose of Cairo, Alice in Wonderland, Inkheart… there’s also a second doctor story called The Mind Robber in which the timelord goes off to the land of fiction and meets Rapunzel, the Medusa and Lemuel Gulliver. Similar-ish.
Already cast in Baddiel’s project are Dr. Who‘s Amy Pond, Ms. Karen Gillan, as the sometime Juliet; Gillian Anderson as her modern-day mother and Juliet’s nurse; and Robert Sheehan of Misfits as a school nerd and, as you’d expect, Romeo Montague.
I think they’re making this just for Rich. It has most of his favourite things in it. He liked Lost in Austen too.
At the moment, the film hasn’t actually been financed so there is still a chance it won’t happen, but with this cast and a pretty low price tag of $7 million, I should think it has a good shot. Baddiel is quoted at Deadline as saying:
There’s been strong interest from people we did The Infidel with. It’s another body-swap comedy along the same lines.