Before Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard and director Justin Kurzel all signed on for video game-based movie Assassin’s Creed, the three worked together on a new screen adaptation of Macbeth (or The Scottish Film, for those who are superstitious). Starring Fassbender as Macbeth and Cotillard as Lady Macbeth, the film will follow the tragic tale of an ambitious lord and his scheming wife, who plot to murder King Duncan and his heirs so that Macbeth can steal his throne.
Kurzel made his feature directorial debut in 2011 with Snowtown, a bleak true-life crime drama about one of the most famous serial murder cases in Australia’s history. The director is no stranger to dark subject matter, and it will definitely be interesting to see him tackle a period drama and (hopefully) put a fresh spin on such a well-known story.
The first images of Cotillard and Fassbender in Macbeth have now made their way online, courtesy of Empire, and showcase some of the costumes that were designed by Jacqueline Durran, who won an Oscar in 2012 for her work on Anna Karenina. Two of the images show the Macbeths in their royal outfits, while the third appears to show Lady Macbeth after the guilt of arranging King Duncan’s murder drives her insane.
Macbeth was co-written by Michael Lesslie, who also wrote the original screenplay for Assassin’s Creed, so Macbeth will be worth seeing if for no other reason than to find out what this particular mix of acting and creative talent can produce. Like Macbeth, Assassin’s Creed takes place at least partially in a historical setting, so it wouldn’t be surprising if Durran (who is best known for her work on period films) returned to work on Kurzel’s next film as well.
The cast of Macbeth also includes Sean Harris (Prometheus) as Macduff, Paddy Considine (The World’s End) as Banquo and David Thewlis (The Theory of Everything) as Duncan. The film will premiere in competition at Cannes Film Festival next month, and will be distributed by The Weinstein Company.
Macbeth will release in U.K. theaters in October 2015, but a U.S. release date has not been confirmed.