ABC has given a series order for the post-“Romeo & Juliet” TV pilot from Shonda Rhimes’ Shondaland shingle, which stars British actress Lashana Lynch.
Set to premiere in 2017, written by Heather Mitchell, and based on the book by Melinda Taub, the “Romeo & Juliet” sequel is titled “Still Star-Crossed” and is set in 16th century Verona, picking up where Shakespeare’s original work ended. It chronicles the treachery, palace intrigue and ill-fated romances of the Montagues and Capulets in the wake of the young lovers’ tragic fate.
The story centers on Rosaline (Lynch), described as a beautiful, intelligent and headstrong Capulet and Juliet’s cousin. Following the death of her parents, Rosaline is taken in by her aunt and uncle, Juliet’s parents Lady and Lord Capulet, and forced to work as a servant. She does her best to tolerate her aunt’s cruelty, and focuses on finding a way to free herself of the humiliation. She is eventually ordered to marry Benvolio (male lead Wade Briggs), a Montague.
The diverse cast also includes (in terms of actors of African descent) Sterling Sulieman, Lucien Laviscount, and Ebonee Noel.
Lashana Lynch, who got her break in the 2012 Noel Clarke feature film “Fast Girls,” also played the tile character in “Educating Rita” on stage in the UK, for which she received much acclaim.
“Still Star-Crossed” will mark Lynch’s American TV premiere.
Along with the announcement of the series pickup, ABC released a first full trailer for the upcoming series, which is embedded below: