Casting News: Romeo, Writers, Frank, Santa

Romeo and Juliet
Paul Giamatti has joined the cast of Carlo Carlei’s adaptation of Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” in the role of the mentor-like Friar Lawrence. “Downton Abbey” creator Julian Fellowes penned the script.

Hailee Steinfeld and Douglas Booth have already been cast to play the ill-fated lovers in the project. Ed Westwick and Kodi Smit-McPhee also star and shooting begins in Italy this month. [Source: Variety]

Writers
Greg Kinnear and Jennifer Connelly are in negotiations to star in Josh Boone’s indie feature “Writers” which begins shooting in North Carolina in March.

Kinnear will play a successful novelist and Connelly his ex-wife in a film that explores their relationship with each other and their collegiate daughter and teenage son. [Source: The Hollywood Reporter]

Frank or Francis
Kate Winslet and Catherine Keener have come aboard Charlie Kaufman’s musical comedy “Frank or Francis”.

Steve Carell plays a director who becomes obsessed with the message board commenter (Jack Black) disparaging his movies on a Hollywood website. Nicolas Cage and Kevin Kline also star. [Source: Vulture]

Saving Santa
Martin Freeman, Noel Clarke, Tim Curry, Joan Collins, Pam Ferris, Craig Fairbass and Chris Barrie are all set to lend their voices to the $7.8 million animated feature “Saving Santa” at Gateway Films. Leon Joosen (“Aliens in the Attic”) directs from a script by Ricky Roxburgh.

The story follows a clumsy elf who must save Santa’s Kingdom after its location is discovered by an evil character. Production kicks off tomorrow. [Source: Variety]