While William Shakespeare may invoke flashbacks from your high school English class, director Justin Kurzel intends to change what it means to adapt The Bard's work with his version of Macbeth.
Starring Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard as Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, the film adapts Shakespeare’s tragic tale of power and political ambition. After being told he will become King of Scotland by three witches, Macbeth goes on a power hungry journey in order to fulfill the prophecy and he will do anything it takes, even murder. His wife, Lady Macbeth, helps him achieve his greedy ambitions - which inevitably leads only to tragedy.
In June, a powerful trailer for the film was released. If audiences were left wanting more, they have certainly been obliged now, with the release of two new images and posters for the film, which have recently been made available.
The two character posters for Macbeth and Lady Macbeth share the tagline, “All Hail.” The posters also give audiences another good look at the sort of visual language and composition Kurzel has used in order to bring Shakespeare's play to life on the big screen.
Take a look at the posters (via Empire Magazine):
Next up are the two new images from the film, one of which depicts Macbeth engaging in battle. It would seem as though Kurzel's version of the play will aim to depict the bloody skirmishes that earn Macbeth the admiration of King Duncan and the attention of the three witches. That will set it apart from some, but not all previous adaptations, as many have opted to keep the actual warfare offscreen.
Meanwhile, the other new image features a closer look at Banquo (Paddy Considine), one of Macbeth’s closest allies, who is by Macbeth's side when the three witches deliver their prophecy. Considine was recently in Edgar Wright's The World's End and the grim Tom Hardy flick Child 44, so it's clear he can move easily between comedy and heavy drama. For fans of his, it will be interesting to see how he handles Shakespeare's dialogue.
While it’s still several months until the film comes to a theater near you, the film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival back in May to positive reviews from critics. Many praised the film for its visually-striking look, its dedication to exploring the darker aspects of the play, and the strong performances from Fassbender and Cotillard. Even Kurzel himself said the film, “reminded [him] of a western,” which creates "a landscape and atmosphere that felt much more dangerous than I’d ever seen before from adaptations of Macbeth.” Regardless how you feel about Shakespeare, it's clear that Macbeth should be put on everyone's must-watch list.
Macbeth opens in UK theaters on October 2, 2015; the film is expected to release in U.S. theaters this December.