Joel Coen’s The Tragedy of Macbeth is being recognized as one of the greatest Shakespearean adaptations in the history of cinema. But how did the filmmaker and his star-studded cast go about bringing the Great Bard’s tragedy to life on the big screen?
This new behind-the-scenes clip, which you can check out above, depicts how Denzel Washington (Macbeth) and the rest of his co-stars approached their roles, while the director himself also lends a few insights on his peculiar vision. Make no mistake; The Tragedy of Macbeth is about as unusual as live-action adaptations of classic works can be.
The entire film plays out like a theater performance, pulling you in with aesthetics that throw the audiences into 11th Century Scotland, despite the minimalistic set design. If anything, the simplicity actually helps elevate that theatrical vibe.
Denzel himself also portrays Macbeth like nothing we’ve seen before, giving an existential edge to the paranoid usurper that makes him relatable beyond all the previous performances in this role, both in theater and cinema, not to mention countless other parodies and re-tellings across the years.
All in all, The Tragedy of Macbeth looks like a work that has the potential to stand the test of time, though to argue about that would be to get ahead of ourselves.