Left: Frances McDormand at Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri © 2017 Fox Searchlight Pictures
Middle: Denzel Washington in Fences © 2016 Parampunt Pictures
Right: Brendan Gleeson in “Mr. Mercedes” © 2017 audience
Four years after the probably best modern film adaptation of William Shakespeare “Macbeth” with Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard as the eponymous couple, the cult director takes on Joel Coen of the tragedy and would like to give it a new coat of paint with his adaptation – and this will certainly cause some raised eyebrows.
The two-time Oscar winner and acting titan Denzel Washington was cast as the Scottish General Macbeth, who is convinced by three witches that he is destined to become the King of Scotland. The actress, who has also won two Academy Awards, and Coen’s wife Frances McDormand will impersonate his manipulative wife, Lady Macbeth. McDormand has appeared in many of the Coen brothers’ films in the past. Macbeth however, is the first solo attempt by Joel Coen, who also wrote the script.
Also new is the conversation Brendan Gleeson (See Bruges … and die?) as King Duncan, who is deviously murdered by Macbeth. However, Gleeson’s contract has not yet been finalized as concerns remain that the shoot will coincide with that of the miniseries “A Higher Loyalty” could overlap, in which Gleeson will play Donald Trump. Filming too Macbeth should start at the beginning of next year. It is not yet known whether the film will stick to Shakespeare’s text.
Behind the film is the renowned Scott Rudin, who already True grit and No Country for Old Men produced by the Coens, as well as the independent studio A24, which gives us films such as Lady Bird and Moonlight brought. So it’s an absolute prestige project that will clearly target the Oscars. The cast of Washington as Macbeth will certainly be a topic of conversation, but on the other hand Coen’s film will certainly not be a very traditional adaptation of the original. This has only recently existed.