The latest adaptation of the Scottish play has already seen some heads unseated – though in this case tragedy came in a more figurative than literal sense when Natalie Portman chose to drop out – but it’s recovered nicely with news today that Oscar winner Marion Cotillard (La Vie en Rose, Inception) has been cast as Lady Macbeth.
Cotillard most recently starred with Jeremy Renner and Joaquin Phoenix in The Immigrant, which premiered at Cannes this past May (the Weinstein Company, by the way, owns the distribution rights, but it still playing coy about the U.S. release), and she is currently at work lending her voice to The Little Prince and shooting the French-language film Two Days, One Night.
As for Macbeth, Michael Fassbender is still on to play the titular would-be monarch. In the director’s chair will be Justin Kurzel, best known for writing and directing The Snowtown Murders. It’s unclear how much the Shakespearean text will be amended in this latest big-screen adaptation, but the production will retain its 11th century Scottish setting. This is, of course, hardly the first time a film version of Macbeth has been produced; in 2006, a modernized retelling starred Sam Worthington (Avatar) in the Macbeth role. Roman Polanski wrote and directed a more historical version in 1971, following in the footsteps of an Orson Welles production in 1948.
This latest Macbeth is still searching for the likes of Duncan, Banquo, and the rest of its cast of characters, but having its two leads in place is certainly a boon to the production. Also a positive is the production company behind the project, See-Saw Films, which has previously produced both Best Picture winner The King’s Speech and the well-received Shame, which also starred Fassbender.
Pre-production is ongoing, and Macbeth figures to begin principal photography in January.