One of the most intriguing upcoming movies is an adaption of Shakespeare's Macbeth play, to be directed by Joel Coen, starring Denzel Washinton and Frances McDormand in the lead roles of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. The project is currently on hold due to the global lockdown.
During an interview with The Film Stage as part of a fundraising effort on Instagram, Frances McDormand explained what makes their adaptation of the classic play different from others.
"I think a very important thing about Joel's adaptation is that we are not calling it Macbeth. We're calling it The Tragedy of Macbeth, which I think is an important distinction. In Joel's adaptation, we are exploring the age of the characters and our adaptation the Macbeths are older. Both Denzel Washington and I are older than what is often cast as the Macbeths. We're postmenopausal, we're past childbearing age. So that puts a pressure on their ambition to have the crown. I think the most important distinction is that it is their last chance for glory."
So expect the main characters of the latest Macbeth to have more maturity and gravitas than previous adaptations. Joel Coen also weighed in on how his script turns the tragic play into a thriller.
"Yes, [it can be considered a thriller]. I think that is something that I've always sort of felt when watching the play and also something that became more clear and more interesting to me as I was getting into it and doing the adaptation. It's interesting how Shakespeare sort of pre-figured certain tropes in American thriller and crime literature that were common in the early part of the 20th century."
"Which just had to do with, in crime novels, a story centered around a husband and a wife who plotted a murder. So that's something that Shakespeare is obviously doing in Macbeth that you see echoes of in crime fiction, in American anyway, in the early part of the 20th century. That kind of fiction I used to read as a kid. I thought it would be interesting to bring certain aspects of that to the production of the movie."
The original Macbeth tells the tale of a brave Scottish general named, (you guessed it), Macbeth, who hears a prophecy declaring he will one day become king. Driven by the prophecy and his conniving wife, Macbeth murders his king, assumes the throne, and becomes a tyrannical ruler until his bloody past catches up with him.
The basic storyline has been adapted across the world, changing the characters and settings to suit different cultures and eras. The new Shakespeare adaption by Joel Coen boasts of two Oscar-wining actors in the lead role, along with a script constructed in the format of a thriller. Needless to say, there is a great deal of excitement to find out how the upcoming movie will take the classic play and turn it into something new and relevant to our times. Let's hope we don't have to wait too long. This was first reported at FilmStage.com