Will Smith And Queen Latifah To Produce Hip-Hop ‘Romeo & Juliet’ For Netflix

H-ip-hop royalty is planning to hold court by breathing new life into an ancient story. Queen Latifah and Will Smith are on board to produce a h-ip-hop musical take on William Shakespeare’s fabled love story “Romeo and Juliet” for Netflix.

According to The Hollywood Report, the film is described as a contemporary musical take on the legendary Bard’s romantic tragedy set against “the urban rhythms of New York.” For the new version, a young waitress from the streets of Brooklyn and an aspiring musician from a rich family have an unconventional romance that forces them to confront their own life choices.

Solvan (Slick) Naim, creator of the streaming giant’s upcoming series “It’s Bruno,” will direct from a script he wrote with Dave Broome.

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Naim is an award-winning Algerian-American writer, director, and rapper from Bushwick, Brooklyn. When he was 22, Naim became the youngest producer to register a film with the New York State Governor’s Office of Motion Picture & Television Development, with his debut feature, 2013’s “Full Circle,” which won five including the Audience Award at the Urbanworld Festival. Judging from Naim’s other credits, the he may be perfect for this: Baz Luhrman’s remarkable and short-lived Netflix series “The Get Down,” Starz’s “Power,” TNT’s “Animal Kingdom” and John Singleton’s FX series “Snowfall.”

It should fare better than a previous attempt to contemporize Shakespeare’s prized work with a h-ip-hop backdrop; 2006’s.

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“Rome and Jewel” starred Nate Parker and Lindsey Hayn was a critically-panned box-office flop.

Latifah and her longtime Flavor Unit Entertainment partner Shakim Compere will produce this new “Romeo and Juliet.” Smith will act as an executive producer through his Overbrook Entertainment, with James Lassiter and Caleeb Pinkett.

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