It’s time for double, double toil and trouble once more, as Shakespeare’s most infamous play, Macbeth, is rising from the grave again and getting ready for another turn in front of the cameras. Poor Macbeth hasn’t even had time to rest, as the last movie adaptation – a low-budget indie version directed by Daniel Coll – was only released last year.
Obviously this story has already been adapted countless times before, both on the stage and on the screen, but this latest version of Macbeth has some great casting going for it. Michael Fassbender is set to play the tortured and corrupted usurper of the throne, a role that’s more or less precisely tailored to his strengths, whilst Marion Cotillard is well-equipped to nail the role of the power-hungry Lady Macbeth.
It’s most likely the casting of Fassbender in the lead role that has had The Weinstein Company and Fox Searchlight duking it out for distribution rights for the past month or so, but Deadline reports that it’s TWC that is about to close a deal for the film. Macbeth isn’t set to start filming until January, but the screenplay by Todd Louiso and Jacob Koskoff (The Mark Pease Experience) is said to take a pretty visceral approach to the story.
In charge of production is See Saw Films, the studio behind Tom Hooper’s Oscar-winning biopic The King’s Speech and Steve McQueen’s sex addiction drama Shame, which also starred Fassbender in the lead role. In the director’s chair is Justin Kurzel, who won the favor of quite a few critics with his feature debut: an Australian crime drama called Snowtown. Cotillard’s role was originally going to be played by Natalie Portman, but the actress later departed from the project, possibly because she already has her hands full with the troubled production of Jane Got a Gun.
Fassbender has a busy schedule of his own; not only is he starring in next year’s major summer release X-Men: Days of Future Past and committed to a role as Thomas Wolfe in Michael Grandage’s biopic Genius, the actor is also set to launch his career as a producer with the video game adaptation Assassin’s Creed.
Considering so many different directors and actors have taken a turn at bringing Macbeth to the big screen, tell us in the comments whether you think Kurzel and Fassbender have what it takes to make a version that really stands out.
Macbeth won’t get a fixed release date until the distribution deal is settled, but if everything goes smoothly it could be in theaters by early 2015.