A ‘Hip Hop Romeo & Juliet’ Musical Is Coming Soon to Netflix

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Will Smith will play an integral role in the new production (photo: Walmart)

Netflix announced a new, as-yet-untitled hip-hop movie based on William Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’.

Solvan Naim is set to direct the film, while Will Smith and Queen Latifah are signed on as producers. Niam co-wrote the movie script with Dave Broome. Netflix described the new film as a contemporary musical take on an old classic set against the urban rhythms of New York.

The love story follows a young waitress from Brooklyn and an aspiring musician from a wealthy family. Their unconventional romance forces them to confront their life choices.

Dave Broome and Yong Yam are producers from 25/7 Productions.  Shakim Compere and Queen Latifah are on board for Flavor United Entertainment. Executive producers from Overbrook Entertainment include Will Smith, James Lassiter, and Caleeb Pinkett.

Naim is an Algerian-American writer, director, and rapper from Brooklyn. He wrote, co-directed, starred, edited, and produced his debut feature ‘Full Circle,’ which won five festival awards.

His short film Stanhope won the best film at the HBO Short Film Competition. Other directing credits for Naim include episodes of ‘The Get Down’ and ‘Snowfall’.

Netflix is under increased pressure to produce new original content.  On top of the already-intense competition for audience hours, the release of Disney Plus now looms over the streaming world. The service has already felt the impact of that transition as several of its popular Marvel shows were cancelled. While most of Disney’s most popular movies appeared on Netflix relatively soon after their video release, that will no longer be the case soon.

Netflix’s content spending for 2019 is expected to exceed $15 billion to create original content for the platform.