For centuries, Romeo and Juliet has been used as inspiration for what’s likely an incalculable number of stories about star-crossed lovers. From direct retellings such as 1936’s and 1968’s Romeo and Juliet and 1996’s William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet to reimaginings such as Gnomeo and Juliet and Warm Bodies, the love story of the titular characters has been etched into the collective consciousness of us all. The main beats of the story are fairly well-known as young students across the globe are exposed to it as part of their studies making the beginning, middle and end of Shakespeare’s play common knowledge.
With an ending as traumatic and final as the one written by the Bard, a sequel to the story would be a tough nut to crack if one wanted to extend the story; however, prequels and/or concurrent stories focusing on other characters who survived the feud between the Capulets and the Montagues are fair game and that’s where Hulu found inspiration for their upcoming film Rosaline. The unseen character is the unrequited love of Romeo at the beginning of the play and the reason he ultimately decides to attend the Capulet party where he meets and falls in love with Juliet.
Romeo’s quick change of heart upon seeing Juliet has often been seen as love at first sight but taken another way, it’s really just a young man who is a romantic and is in love with the idea of being in love. At a recent global press conference for Rosaline, actor Kyle Allen, who brings Romeo to life in the film, discussed that very topic.
Romeo would fall in love with a stick if you’d let him. He’s completely obsessed with the concept and the idea of love. And other than that, that’s pretty much the entirety of his personality. He doesn’t have much else going on.Kyle Allen
Allen goes on to describe Romeo as “dimwitted” which is a nice way of saying that for much of the time audiences are engaged with the character, his decisions aren’t made by his brain so much as…well, not his brain. What will this latest Romeo and Juliet-inspired tale add to the collective story? Fans can find out when Rosaline streams on Hulu, beginning October 14th.