Paul Giamatti has joined the cast of Romeo and Juliet for Amber Entertainment and director Carlo Carlei.

The actor will portray Friar Lawrence, an important character in the original William Shakespeare play, who serves as an adviser to the title characters (Hailee Steinfeld and Douglas Booth). Holly Hunter is set to portray Nurse, while Ed Westwick and Kodi Smit-McPhee play cousins Tybalt and Mercutio.

Carlo Carlei is directing Romeo and Juliet from a screenplay by Julian Fellowes. The project is described as Romeo and Juliet for the Twilight generation.

Production is scheduled to start later this month, on location in Mantua Italy and Rome's Cinecitta Studios.