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Ed Westwick Will Gossip in High English for 'Romeo and Juliet'

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A new, cinematic version of Shakespeare's classic romantic tragedy "Romeo and Juliet" is in the works and needs a young man to play Tybalt, a high and mighty prick who loves to ruffle feathers. Hmm, who could pull that off?

It seems the production team went with the most obvious (and perfect) choice: Ed Westwick, a.k.a. Chuck Bass, resident slimeball and trickster on CW's "Gossip Girl." The actor has been tapped to play the role of Juliet's cousin, reports Variety,  alongside recent Oscar-nominee Hailee Steinfeld, who is set to play the titular female lead.

Hey, nothing wrong with riding the coattails of an 15-year-old if it means you get to be on the big screen!

We haven't seen too much of Westwick on the big screen -- he'll be seen later this year in Clint Eastwood's J. Edgar Hoover biopic "J.Edgar" -- but a good, old fashioned Shakespeare role might be just the boost he needs to bump him to the A-List. Also cast in the film is Holly Hunter, who will play The Nurse.

Still up for grabs is the part of Romeo -- whomever takes on the role has some big shoes to fill. Yes, we mean Leonardo DiCaprio. Plus he'll be facing off against Westwick, who, if Oscar-winning writer Julian Fellowes ("Gosford Park") sticks faithfully to the source material, challenges the lovestruck young lad to a duel. Hopefully Westwick's brushing up on his fencing during his current hiatus from "Gossip Girl."

"Romeo and Juliet" doesn't have a locked release date, but with production aiming to roll cameras soon, expect more news on the romantic lead front in the immediate future.

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