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Top French Visual Effects Company Options Retro Shakespeare Spec (Exclusive)

"Romeo" recasts the "wherefore art thou" guy as an undercover agent

French visual effects company BUF has optioned “Romeo,” a spec script from newcomer Will Simmons.

The film, an action thriller with a modern twist on William Shakespeare’s legendary character, marks a partnership between the effects house and Energy Independent, a film development, packaging and production arm of Brooklyn Weaver’s Energy Entertainment.

In the script, instead of being a star-crossed lover, Romeo resurfaces as an undercover agent trying to take down a major crime syndicate. India Osborne, BUF’s head of production, will produce with Weaver.

Hicham Benkirane, who brought the project into Buf, will also produce, along with Energy production exec Derrick Eppich. Simmons will co-produce.

Production will take place in Europe, though the producers must still sign a director.

BUF has done effects for movies such as “Thor,” “Avatar” and Christopher Nolan’s “Batman” films. It recently launched a production arm and has begun to make animated and live-action films such as Eran Riklis' "Zaytoun" and Moebius' "La Planete Encore."

Energy Independent, launched in February, is still developing its first projects.