Keira Knightley is said to be in very early discussions to star in “Rosaline” for Fox 2000 reports Vulture. Knightley is both the studio and producer Shawn Levy’s first choice to play the lead role of Rosaline.
The film is an adaptation of Rebecca Serle’s upcoming first novel “When You Were Mine” which re-tells Shakespeare’s great tragedy “Romeo and Juliet” from the perspective of the normally unseen Rosaline, the celibate niece of Capulet and Romeo’s first love. When Romeo sneaks into a Capulet gathering to find her towards the play’s start, he spots Juliet instead and instantly falls in love with her.
Though frequently mentioned throughout the play, the character never actually appears and has only rarely been portrayed on film (and even then in tiny cameos). In many ways she’s the quintessential plot device, without her Romeo wouldn’t be at a Capulet party and thus wouldn’t meet Juliet.
Serle’s book explores Rosaline falling in love with Romeo’s cousin, Benvolio. Though set in the 16th century, the book and film utilise contemporary speech. Lily Collins is also said to be a strong contender for the title role as well should talks with Knightley fall through.
Scott Neustader and Michael H. Weber (“500 Days of Summer”) have adapted the script with Michael Sucsy (“The Vow”) set to direct.
Knightley’s involvement isn’t a surprise. Over a decade ago the actress played the role of Rosaline in Scottish playwright Sharman Macdonald’s 1999 stage production “After Juliet” which takes place after Romeo’s death. In that version Benvolio falls for her and she rejects him as she struggles with her loss.