Lionsgate is Developing Futuristic Dystopian Shakespeare Adaptation ROMEO AND JULIET: THE WAR

In 2012, a graphic novel called Romeo and Juliet: The War, which reimagined Shakespeare's classic play in a futuristic dystopian society, somehow became a New York Times bestseller. Now, Variety reports that Stan Lee's POW! Entertainment and 1821 Media are teaming up with Lionsgate to create a feature film adaptation. With this and the Romeo and Juliet sequel series in the works at ABC (yes, you read that correctly), not to mention further film adaptations of works like the Michael Fassbender-starring Macbeth, it seems like Hollywood is cashing in on Billy Shakespeare in a big way right now.

Here's the official description of the graphic novel:

Two groups of superhuman soldiers who turned the Empire of Verona into the most powerful territory on earth. The MONTAGUES, powerful cyborgs made of artificial DNA, and the CAPULETS, genetically enhanced humans known for their speed and agility, worked in tandem to destroy all threats to the city. With no one left to fight, the Montagues and Capulets found themselves a new enemy: each other.
A young Montague boy and Capulet girl who fall in love. They secretly plan to marry, hoping their union can be what brings peace between the warring factions. But forces beyond their control begin to conspire against them, threatening their love, their lives... and the entire Empire of Verona.
A tragedy that spans all of space and time.
Romeo and Juliet: The War

The comic was created by Stan Lee and Terry Dougas and written by Max Work, with art by Skan Srisuwan. John J. Griffin is writing the screenplay, but no director is in place yet.

When people complain about the seemingly never-ending cycle of remakes that churn through Hollywood, one of the big counterpoints that always comes up is that there can be some value in stories being told multiple times and reinterpreted in different ways, and iterations of Shakespeare's plays are often name-dropped as examples. Can I largely agree with that mentality but still think Romeo and Juliet: The War sounds incredibly stupid? Good, because that's what I think.

I'm all for interesting riffs on classic works (this morning's new trailer for Band of Robbers is a good example), but Romeo and Juliet: The War sounds like it's being made solely to capitalize on the young adult dystopian craze that's happening right now. What do you all think? Is there any chance that this ends up being watchable?

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