Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard are featured in the first photos from the new William Shakespeare adaptation Macbeth. Michael Fassbender stars as the title character, a Scottish Lord who will do anything to become king, with Marion Cotillard portraying his wife, Lady MacBeth. This adaptation from director Justin Kurzel will retain the play's 11th Century setting and original dialogue. Take a look at the first photos, then read on for more details from Michael Fassbender.
During The Daily Mail's visit to the set, Michael Fassbender revealed that his title character is actually suffering from post traumatic stress disorder, an idea which director Justin Kurzel gave him.
"He's suffering from post traumatic stress disorder. It makes total sense, when you think about it. Justin set the seed of the idea in my head. This trauma is something we know about. In World War I they called it battle fatigue, and it was probably more horrific in Macbeth's days, when they were killing with their bare hands, and driving a blade through bodies. He's having these hallucinations, and he needs to return to the violence to find some sort of clarity, or peace."
Michael Fassbender also revealed that, while his character was away at war, they lost a child.
"He'd been away fighting and when he returns, we see it's a relationship that's broken down. They lost a child, and there wasn't time for them to grieve because he's been away campaigning. Lady M is desperate for that reconnection, and briefly they do. And, of course, the doorway has been opened to darkness and to violence."
After the murder of Duncan, Lady MacBeth hopes this act of killing the king will bring them closer together. However, it only leads to more violence.
"He's wary of doing it, but Lady M bolsters him, and tells him to garner his strength."
Ironically, Michael Fassbender's X-Men: Days of Future Past co-star James McAvoy played MacBeth on the stage last year in London's West End, and gave the actor some pointers and literature for the character.
See Saw Films producers Iain Canning and Emile Sherman (The King's Speech) revealed that they filmed the King George VI coronation scenes at Ely, which doubled for Westminster Abbey. Justin Kurzel and his team also scoured the Highlands looking for authentic and rugged locations, and both the director and producers were adamant about keeping this story a period piece. Here's what Iain Canning had to say.
"The story of Macbeth is eternally pertinent."
"There's a vibrancy and intelligence to the script."
The actor also revealed that the entire cast speaks in a Scottish accent, except for Marion Cotillard as Lady MacBeth.
"We felt it would be unreasonable for her to put on a Scottish accent. It would not be unreasonable to presume that her character spent time in the French court."
"I always have a problem with that word. It never gives me any information, or helps me in any way. I like to find a character's motivation. I don't think Macbeth is evil. I think he's damaged. When we meet him, he's a man who's as good as his circumstances will allow. He serves his king loyally and looks after his soldiers."