It’s been 25 years since Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes starred in Baz Luhrmann’s energetic adaptation of Romeo and Juliet. It’s a great cinematic reinterpretation, but one in a long line of retelling of Shakespeare’s beloved tragedy.  These are the most interesting and creative takes.

Kelly Asbury’s animated version of Romeo and Juliet’s tale sees the story play out in two neighboring gardens. The gardens’ gnomes have a deep hatred of each other. The amazing voice cast includes James McAvoy and Emily Blunt as Gnomeo and Juliet in the charming rendition. 

Han Sing (Jet Li) and Trish O’Day (Aaliyah) are thrown when they each lose a saintly brother in this 2000 action thriller! Aaliyah adds crossover starpower and Li’s action sequences are jaw-dropping, making this adaptation one of the biggest departures from the traditional tale. 

 In Jonathan Levine’s comedic zombie apocalypse, Nicholas Hoult and Teresa Palmer star as zombie R and the human he falls in love with. R’s struggle to speak beyond grunts plus the running joke that is the mystery of his name cleverly nod to Shakespeare’s characters’ fixation on words and what they mean.

It speaks to the brilliance of Shakespeare that when we reimagine his plays in strange new places, they work all the better — and it speaks to the perfection of Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins’ West Side Story. Its passion and sincerity get to the heart of Romeo and Juliet.

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