Michael Fassbender & Natalie Portman Attached to New Macbeth Adaptation [UPDATED]

Published 2 years ago by , Updated April 30th, 2013 at 2:14 pm,

Michael Fassbender in Shame Michael Fassbender & Natalie Portman Attached to New Macbeth Adaptation [UPDATED]

William Shakespeare’s bloody tragedy Macbeth has been adapted countless times for both the stage and the screen – the most recent cinematic example being Rupert Goold’s filmed version of his stage production, which starred Patrick Stewart in the title role. Another notable recent example is Geoffrey Wright’s modern-day Australian gangster reinterpretation of the story, in which Sam Worthington played an underboss who usurps the “throne” of a Melbourne crime boss.

A new contender for the crown of Scotland is about to arrive, however, as Michael Fassbender is reportedly attached to play the lead in a new adaptation of Macbeth, which will be directed by Justin Kurzel (Snowtown) from a script by Toss Louiso and Jacob Koskoff.


Though there aren’t any concrete details at the moment as to who will be playing Fassbender’s counterpart, Lady Macbeth, the ScreenDaily article reports that “at least one Hollywood leading actress” is in talks for the role.

[UPDATE: ScreenDaily has revealed that the leading Hollywood actress they were referring to is Natalie Portman, and she’s now signed on to play Lady Macbeth.]

The film is being produced by See Saw Films, the production company behind Steve McQueen’s sex addiction drama Shame, which also starred Fassbender in the lead role; they also did Tom Hooper’s King George VI biopic The King’s Speech, which won four Oscars and was nominated for eight more.

Fassbender is currently filming X-Men: Days of Future Past and is also attached to play Thomas Wolfe in Max Perkins’ biopic, Genius. Rumors surrounding a possible reprisal of his role in Prometheus for Ridley Scott’s sequel are also developing as the director casts his net out for a new writer.

Michael Fassbender in Inglourious Basterds Michael Fassbender & Natalie Portman Attached to New Macbeth Adaptation [UPDATED]

The actor has also started up his own production company, DMC Films, through which he will be producing and starring in an adaptation of popular video game franchise Assassin’s Creed. News has gone a little quiet on this front since writer Michael Lesslie was brought on to write the screenplay a few months ago, and a lot is riding on Assassin’s Creed getting off the ground and into production. The film will mark the feature debut of both DMC films and Ubisoft Motion Pictures – and at a press junket last year, Fassbender said that managing to successfully produce something through his new company was part of the reason for taking time off acting:

“I really wanted to make DMC, my production company, really work as opposed to just an idea and you’ve got to put a lot of time into that. So I really did focus energies in that, working with writers, finding the writers, and so now I go back to acting again.”

Macbeth is expected to begin filming towards the end of this year, and the script is described as taking a “visceral” approach, particularly to the battle scenes, making it potentially comparable to Ralph Fiennes’ recent modern adaptation of Coriolanus. Fassbender’s involvement alone is enough to make this new version of a very old story worth watching, and apparently the script was sought after eagerly by several different sales outfits at Cannes before finally being picked up by See Saw and Film4.


Macbeth doesn’t have a release date yet, though based on the production schedule it’s lilely to arrive in late 2014/early 2015. We’ll keep you updated as the project develops.

Source: ScreenDaily

Follow H. Shaw-Williams on Twitter @HSW3K
TAGS: Macbeth
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  1. Lame…

    • Well, you can always stick with “Jersey Shore” and “Beavis and Butthead”…

      • Beavis and Butthead, sure…Jersey Shore, no thanks. And there is nothing exciting about another Macbeth film, Fassbender or no Fassbender.

        • MacBeth is awesome, and I’m excited about this adaptation. Especially now since Michael Fassbender and Natalie Portman are starring.

        • jp…

          …in your opinion. I (and I imagine many others) look forward to the various interpretations of Shakespeare’s works. I loved the recent “Coriolanus”, am anticipating Joss Whedon’s “Much Ado About Nothing”, and curiously await the development and eventual release of this “Macbeth”.

          Why do you consider this lame?

          • because it’s been done to death, and Shakespeare belongs on a stage, not a screen.

            • THAT is exactly why I disagree…Shakespeare’s plays can be performed over and over, with a variety of structural/temporal variations, using many different mediums and be just as entertaining each time as they were when originally performed. Films of the plays are just as viable as staged productions, as long as the essence of the given stories/characters/themes remains the same.

              That’s the point of Shakespeare: He was catering to popular culture, not just to the “artistic” crowd…

  2. Seeing this.

  3. Fassbender’s involvement is enough to make me avoid this.
    It seems to be the law of the Internet to like this guy. I don’t.

    • Hah! It’s not a law, people just love the guy. If you don’t, who cares? It’s your opinion and you seem quite upset that Michael Fassbender is popular. Get over yourself and stop complaining on a page you don’t care to be on.

      • Obviously it’s not the law. That was a joke, Sunshine.
        If you cannot detect that you have no sense of humor.

        Then only one upset here is you. I’m glad.
        And Michael is not as popular as you assume.
        You are the one who needs to get over yourself.

    • so if fassbender isn’t your cup of tea then move on and stop anything pertains to him. why complain about it? anything this guy is involved in just skip it and find something else to complain about.

  4. This is fantastic news. Coriolanus was the best movie of the last few years in my opinion. I wonder if this is going to take a more traditionalist approach or if they’re going to go the “modern dress” route similar to Coriolanus or Goold’s Macbeth. Either way, I’m glad to hear that there will be a “visceral” approach which I think will better suit a tragedy like this.

    • Nevermind. Just read that it will feature the traditional historical setting. Cool, that will differentiate it from the Patrick Stewart version.

  5. I’m looking forward to this!

  6. The problem with Macbeth. It has not changed in the 500+ years of existence, from Shakesphere in the Park to the 15 or so movies, 500+ odd plays, Macbeth as (NO PUN) been played to death.

    A 2 Hour movie is not going to bring anything new to MacBeth, it is one of those things, that cannot be changed.

    • I disagree that a new version will not bring anything new to the table. Whether it actually DOES or not is, of course, open to supposition at this point, but new interpretations of the Bard’s works have almost always added new perspectives, insights, and/or creative flourishes to the oft-spoken words.

      I await this project’s development…

    • “Shakespeare in The Park? Doth mother know you weareth her drapes?”

  7. How do you kill a man’s interest in a movie? Put the name “Shakespeare” in the title.

    • I thoroughly, wholeheartedly disagree. In fact, this often INCREASES my curiosity and subsequent anticipation.

    • When it comes to writing, there’s Shakespeare and there’s everyone else.

  8. “Shakespeare in The Park? Doth mother know you weareth her drapes?”

    • That was posted in the wrong spot. But I got my point across.

  9. Back in my youth while studying theater (it never left High School) I could never gather myself to enjoy half of the plays that we would have to act and star in. Mainly because those half were all Shakespeare. Even Baz Luhrmann’s version of Romeo + Juliet didn’t uplift my spirits any. And the cast was amazing. But whatever. Keep on comin’ with the remakes.

    Speaking of remakes! Why isn’t anyone jumping on this thread saying “OMG not another remake!!!” Its okay if it’s a Shakespeare remake, but not a horror movie remake?

  10. Have they said anything on how the dialogue will be handled?

    • I’m hoping they keep the dialogue…That always makes it more entertaining. :)

  11. Macbeth (after being skewered by sword):
    “The trick, my friend, is not minding that it hurts…”