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Broadway Director Alex Timbers Boarding Universal's 'Rosaline' (Exclusive)

Alex Timbers and Shawn Levy - H 2013
Alex Timbers and Shawn Levy

Shawn Levy is producing the revisionist take on "Romeo and Juliet."

Two-time Tony-nominated theater director Alex Timbers has signed on to direct Rosaline, a comedic and revisionist take on Romeo & Juliet, set up at Universal.

Shawn Levy is producing via his 21 Laps shingle, and the script is being written by Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber, the team who wrote (500) Days of Summer.

Universal picked up the project out of turnaround from Fox in May.

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Rosaline is set in the classic period of the play but uses modern language as it tells the story from the viewpoint of Rosaline, Romeo's first love, whom he dumps for her cousin, Juliet. The project has been compared to Wicked, the Wizard of Oz-based musical, in the sense that it tells a classic story from a different perspective.

The project is based on the novel by Rebecca Serle, When You Were Mine, published in 2012 by Simon Pulse. 

No actors are attached at this point, although the project did reach the casting stage when it was at Fox 2000.

21 Laps' Billy Rosenberg will executive produce. Maradith Frenkel, vp production, and Chloe Yellin, creative executive, will oversee the project for the studio.

Timbers snagged a 2012 Tony Award nomination for Peter and the Starcatcher. He staged the Broadway musical Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson and The Pee-Wee Herman Show, as well as the Off Broadway hit Here Lies Love, an unconventional bio-musical about Imelda Marcos, by David Byrne and Fatboy Slim. His next show is Rocky: The Musical, which is being produced by the original Rocky himself, Sylvester Stallone, and opens in March 2014.

Rosaline isn't his first foray into Hollywood, as he already has two projects set up at studios: Heck, an adventure fantasy at MGM, and #hotfuss, a Shakespeare musical at Disney.

He is repped by WME, Caliber Media and attorney Dave Feldman.