It's a good day when word of a new Shakespearean film adaptation hits the news cycle. A good day that is made even better when you discover that Denzel Washington is taking the lead, with the formidable Frances McDormand by his side. The tale of choice for director Joel Coen? Macbeth of course – or as the acclaimed filmmaker has aptly titled the film, The Tragedy of Macbeth.
Aside from the fact that this is the first time that Oscar winners Washington and McDormand have shared the screen, (an unbelievable and monumental moment in itself), the film also marks a rare solo effort from Coen; who is known as one part of the powerhouse filmmaking duo that is the Coen brothers.
The drama sees Washington take on the titular role, with McDormand as Lady Macbeth; a vastly different approach to the type of casting we've seen for the roles in the past. Speaking to Indiewire about the casting, McDormand shared; “In Joel’s adaptation, we are exploring the age of the characters and in our adaptation the Macbeths are older. Both Denzel and I are older than what is often cast as the Macbeths. We’re postmenopausal, we’re past childbearing age. So that puts a pressure on their ambition to have the crown. I think the most important distinction is that it is their last chance for glory.”
In anticipation of the film's release later this year, here's everything we know about The Tragedy of Macbeth so far.
What is The Tragedy of Macbeth about?
As we already know, this film places the Macbeth's in a different phase of their life and most importantly, without children. In the same interview, McDormand shared that part of her character's personal tragedy was that she was unable to give her husband and heir, which plays a key role in fuelling her ambition to give him the crown. It will be interesting to see how this shift in dynamic fits into the general narrative of the film.
The film has also been shot entirely on sound stages and in black and white to give it the feeling of a “German Expressionist film"; a decision by Coen takes the stereotypical visuals associated with the Shakespearean universe into a completely different direction.
Who stars in the film?
Aside from Washington and McDormand, the pair will also be joined by Corey Hawkins, who stars as Macduff; as well as Moses Ingram, Brendan Gleeson, Harry Melling, and Ralph Ineson in other supporting roles.
Watch the trailer for The Tragedy of Macbeth below
Where can you watch the film?
The Tragedy of Macbeth is set to hit theatres come December 25 and will be available to stream on Apple TV+ on January 14, 2022.
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