Per Deadline, Bradley Whitford has signed on to join the cast of Rosaline, the reimagining of the classic Romeo & Juliet story, to be produced by 20th Century Studios. The Emmy-nominated actor joins Kaitlyn Dever (Booksmart), Isabela Merced (Dora and the Lost City of Gold), and Kyle Allen (West Side Story). The film is set to be directed by Karen Maine, who most recently directed the BBC/HBO Max comedy series Starstruck.
Rosaline will take a new look at “the most famous love story ever told,” with Dever taking on the title role, a character in the original story who is an initial and fleeting love interest for Romeo, set to be played by Allen. Merced has been cast as Juliet, though no role was provided for Whitford. Given his range, he could easily slip into the modernized role of a Capulet or Montague. Actor Sean Teale (The Gifted) also joined the cast earlier this month, nabbing the role of soldier Dario.
The plot is set to follow Dever‘s character of Rosaline, who initially dated Romeo, as she uncovers more about herself in trying to keep Allen and Merced’s characters of Romeo and Juliet together. Teale‘s Dario also finds himself mixed up in this romance, just another complication to this already tricky situation. The script, written by Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber (The Disaster Artist, (500) Days of Summer), is adapted from the novel When You Were Mine by Rebecca Serle.
Whitford has popped in numerous films over the years, aside from the Academy Award-nominated fare of Get Out and The Post. He also had turns in Godzilla: King of the Monsters and The Call of the Wild, and will soon be seen as Stephen Sondheim in Lin-Manuel Miranda‘s feature directorial debut Tick, Tick…Boom!. Whitford has been nominated for Emmy Awards for his work in both The West Wing and The Handmaid’s Tale. Rosaline appears to be a strong fit for his knack for comedy and earnestness, and certainly adds to the diversity he has been building for himself over recent years.
Shawn Levy and Dan Cohen are producing the film under 21 Laps Entertainment. The project has been in development for years, and 20th Century Studios finally grabbed the rights back in May. 21 Laps has worked on numerous projects over the years, namely the Netflix hit Stranger Things. On the film side, they have helped to produce Arrival, Fist Fight, and Why Him?. Their next film to hit theaters will be Free Guy, directed by none other than Shawn Levy.
While no release date is currently set, all of these casting announcements surely signal a production that is quickly ramping up and sure to begin soon.