The trailer to the upcoming modern day adaptation and updated version of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, Die in a Gunfight, is finally out and rocking on YouTube. The romantic crime movie which was acquired for distribution by LionsGate is Collin Schiffli’s third film. It is a complete turn-around from his usual style and previous works that include the award winning directorial debut Animals, which won the director a special grand jury award at the 2014 SXSW Film Festival and was awarded best feature, best director, and best actor at The Midwest Independent Film Festival’s BMAs in Chicago.
Die in a Gunfight has been through almost seven years of developmental journey after the script had been drafted and listed on the Black List 2010 edition as one of the most loved script yet to be produced. It was later revealed that Zac Efron, through his production company Ninjas Run-in’ Wild, would star and produce the film that same year with Anthony Mandler directing. The production would have been Mandler’s directorial debut.
It never worked out and was later announced in 2017 that Josh Hutcherson and Kaya Scodelario has been signed to the lead roles while Collin Schiffli agreed to direct the film. However, things changed again as Diego Boneta (Terminator: Dark Fate and Monster Hunter) was finally confirmed to be playing Ben Gibbon and Alexandra Daddario (We Summon the Darkness)to play Mary the daughter of Rathcart. Both signed and joined the project only in 2019 when the principal photography commenced that same year in Canada.
Die Gun Fight explores the themes of love and hope in a stylized structure. The film is based around two rival families – The Rathcarts and Gibbons. It tells the story of love escapades between Ben Gibbons being a young rebel who falls in love with Mary Rathcart, the daughter of his father’s enemy. After many years apart Mary and Ben reignite a forbidden love affair that set them in dangerous collisions of corporate killers and hitmen. Lust and revenge were revisited even though the lovebirds have been forbidden to see each other. Still, the pair share a love that won’t be denied and as such, their defiance would cost their families’ fist, blood, and bullets.
There have been many versions to the account of the classical story of Romeo and Juliet, but a more gangster-contemporary spin to the same story gives a fresh approach to the action-comedy genre. According to Lauren Bixby, VP of acquisitions and co-productions at Lionsgate, “Audiences need fun, adrenaline fueled entertainment more so than ever, Die in a Gunfight is a fresh and contemporary film packed with action, romance and twists at every turn. Helmer Schiffli’s vivid and captivating style creates a high octane, edgy ride. I am thrilled and hopeful that Die in a Gunfight will deliver some heartfelt eye candy to everyone looking for a summer flick.”
Scripted by Andrew Barrer and Gabriel Ferrari, Die Gun Fight also features Billy Crudup, Travis Fimmel, Justin Chatwin, Wade Allain-Marcus, and Emmanuelle Chriqui. Die Gun Fight will be released in theatres and through Video On Demand (VOD) in the U.S on July 16.