Sony Picking Up 'Romeo & Juliet' Retelling 'Verona' (Exclusive)

Joe Roth
<p> &quot;I&#39;m spending $2 billion a year on making and marketing movies, and &hellip; I&#39;m letting [profits] go to a landlord who decides after 30 days [to replace my film].&quot;</p>   |   Kevin Winter/Getty Images
Joe Roth is producing.

What is in a name? Sony is about to find out.

The studio is in final negotiations to pick up Verona, the fair city which is the setting of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, a spec by Neil Widener and Gavin James that retells that tale.

Joe Roth is attached to produce. The deal was made in a competitive situation by Hannah Minghella, who will oversee for the studio with Matt Milam.

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Exact details are being kept more clandestine than a love affair between two teens from opposing Italian families, but the script is said to reimagine the classic love story through a lens of an epic, 300-style world. 300 was the gritty and fantastical Zack Snyder movie that adapted the Frank Miller comic book miniseries that retold a battle between Greeks vs. Persians in a stylized and heightened reality.

Roth, who once called Sony his home when he ran Revolution Studios, is in post on Alice in Wonderland: Through the Looking Glass, the sequel to the billion dollar grossing Disney movie, and is in preproduction on The Huntsman, the sequel to Universal's 2012 retelling of the Snow White fairy tale.

The writers are repped by CAA, Grandview, and attorney Greg Slewett.

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