Trivia / William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet

  • Breakaway Pop Hit: The soundtrack exposed a few songs, most notably The Cardigans' "Lovefool" and the choral version of "Everybody's Free (To Feel Good)" (nowadays known as "Wear Sunscreen").
  • Dawson Casting: Originally the 14 year old Natalie Portman was cast as Juliet, but the director thought that the much older Leonardo DiCaprio looked like he was "molesting her", so the 16-year old Claire Danes was hired instead.
  • Older Than They Think: The idea of Romeo still being alive when Juliet wakes up and dying in her arms wasn't invented by this movie, but is also found in Italian versions of the story that predate Shakespeare's play, as well as at least two opera adaptations, Gounod's Roméo et Juliette and Bellini's I Capuletti e i Montecchi.
  • Star-Making Role: For DiCaprio and Danes, at least before Titanic (1997) really pushed the former to superstardom.
  • Theme Tune Cameo: A version of "The Love Theme" from the 1968 Franco Zefferelli adaptation plays in the background at one point.
  • Unintentional Period Piece: This is a very 90s kinda movie, stylistically and visually.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Not only was Natalie Portman supposed to play Juliet before Claire Danes, but John Leguizamo wanted to play Mercutio, before being cast as Tybalt.
    • Claire Danes and DiCaprio were going to be reunited in Titanic (1997), but Danes was too tired after shooting, so the role went to Kate Winslet instead.