EXCLUSIVE: Diego Tinoco, best known for the Netflix series, On My Block, and Siddiq Saunderson of Hulu’s Wu-Tang: An American Saga, will co-star In R#J, a modern-day adaptation of the Shakespearean classic Romeo and Juliet from producers Timur Bekmambetov and Igor Tsay. Carey Williams is directing the film from a script he co-wrote with Rickie Castaneda.
Tinoco will take on the role of Tybalt. Saunderson is Mercutio. Additional cast includes Camaron Engels (Malibu Rescue) as Romeo, Francesca Noel (Selah and the Spades) as Juliet, and RJ Cyler (Power Rangers) as Benvolio.
This marks the first project under Bekmambetov and Tsay’s newly-launched Interface Films banner. Their credits include Unfriended and Searching, starring John Cho. Like the two aforementioned titles, R#J will be shot using the Screenlife format of storytelling, which is told through the POV of smartphone and computer screens.
Described as a pulse-pumping mashup of Shakespearean language and “of the times” vernacular for social media infused generation, the pic is set in the lush and storied Louisiana area and takes place through the mobile phones of our two lovers Romeo and Juliet.
Alex Sobolev and Anna Soboleva are also producers.
Tinoco, who has amassed nearly 5 million followers across his social platforms, can currently be seen on the third of On My Block. He plays Cesar Diaz, the sensitive teen who is pulled away from his three bright, street-savvy friends into his family’s legacy of gang life. Saunderson plays Wu-Tang Clan member Ghostface Killah on the RZA and Alex Tse-created Wu-Tang series, which was picked up for a second season.
Tinoco is repped by Paradigm, Impact Artists Group, and Jackoway Austen. Saunderson is repped by Innovative and Goodman Genow