Considering Shonda Rhimes’ unrelenting love of a lengthy, dramatic monologue, it was probably only a matter of time before Shondaland took on Shakespeare: Variety reports that Rhimes’ production company has landed a TV adaptation of Still Star-Crossed. (If you were a fan of The CW’s canceled series Star-Crossed, sorry, but this has nothing to do with that.) Still Star-Crossed is based on the 2013 YA novel of the same name by Melinda Taub, which picks up where Romeo and Juliet’s tragic story left off. No, Romeo and Juliet do not awaken from the dead as zombies or vampires or whatever. Rather, the love story follows the ongoing conflict between the Capulets and the Montagues in the direct aftermath of Romeo and Juliet’s deaths; as the title suggests, Romeo and Juliet aren’t the only star-crossed lovers affected by this lasting family rivalry.
Heather Mitchell, a writer and producer on Shondaland’s Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy, will pen the new project, which is in development at ABC Studios. Rhimes and her long-time producing partner Betsy Beers will serve as non-writing producers. Still Star-Crossed not only marks Shondaland’s first official foray into Shakespearean territory, but also the first Shondaland project with roots in the YA genre. It’s all part of the expansion of the Shondaland brand (Shondabrand?). Upcoming projects for the production company reflect Shondaland’s efforts to diversify, and include an Iraq-set medical drama, a nun drama, a divorce comedy from the Trophy Wife creators, and the thriller The Catch. We’re still awaiting the day ABC turns into a 24-hour Shondaland network.