William Shakespeare’s tragedy Macbeth has seen several terrific big-screen versions, tackled by directors as esteemed as Orson Welles, Roman Polanski and Akira Kurosawa. The tale of murder and paranoia, featuring one of the most maniacal female villains in all of literature (Lady Macbeth), is a work that continues to inspire and influence storytelling to this day. In fact, many culture commentators have noted that the relationship between Frank and Claire Underwood on House of Cards has shades of the power-hungry, conniving characters from Shakespeare’s classic.
Now, a new film adaptation of the beloved tragedy is set to hit theatres either later this year or early in 2015, with Michael Fassbender as Macbeth and Marion Cotillard as Lady Macbeth. The first photos of the adaptation have arrived online today (you can find them above and below) and they indicate just how dark and depraved director Justin Kerzel (Snowtown) is going with the already macabre material.
The photograph below, of Fassbender’s dark general in the battlefield, with a look of wicked desperation on his painted face, is a good indicator that his performance could be masterful. “He’s suffering from post traumatic stress disorder,” the actor told The Daily Mail. “He’s having these hallucinations, and he needs to return to the violence to find some sort of clarity, or peace.”
Fassbender and Cotillard are two of the finest actors in contemporary cinema, perhaps best known for roles full of madness, violence and/or paranoia. Fassbender’s frightening portrayal of Edwin Epps in 12 Years a Slave showed the dark depths the actor could go to. Meanwhile, Cotillard’s fiery performances in Inception and Rust and Bone proves she has the compulsive power to take on one of literature’s finest villains.
Paddy Considine, David Thewlis, The Great Gatsby‘s Elizbeth Debicki and Fassbender’s Prometheus co-star Sean Harris round out the film’s ensemble. Let us hope that when Macbeth hits theatres, the strength of the material along with the stellar cast ensures that it is more than “a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”
Source: The Film Stage