William Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet

Various Artists
William Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet

Baz Luhrmann remembers struggling through his pitch for Romeo + Juliet until someone suggested talking about the music. As he recounts to Apple Music, he told the executives, “‘There’ll be hits. Hundreds of hits.’ And they all sort of laughed.” Of course, that’s basically what happened (the album went Gold or Platinum in more than 10 countries), but you could understand why they were skeptical: You want to take a 16th-century love story and one of the most famous pieces of dramaturgic literature in history and put Garbage and The Cardigans on the soundtrack? But for Luhrmann, that was the point. “The contemporary music is a door into something that might seem rusty and inaccessible,” he says. In other words, Romeo and Juliet never heard Radiohead, but they’d get it if they did.

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