A new adaptation of Macbeth is under way and will be directed by Joel Coen. It has yet to be confirmed whether his brother Ethan, who is a frequent collaborator in the Coen projects will be involved.
What has been confirmed is that Joel will be using his original script, and the latest adaptation of the Shakespearean classic will star Denzel Washington and Joel’s wife Frances McDormand.
Scott Rudin will produce the latest version, having worked with Coen previously on best picture winner No Country for Old Men, Inside Llewyn Davis and the True Grit remake.
Washington was last seen in the hit sequel The Equalizer 2 and has previous experience with Shakespearean visions, starring as Julius Caesar on Broadway in 2005, as well as playing a role in Kenneth Branagh’s big screen take on Much Ado About Nothing in 1993.
McDormand also has experience with Shakespearean roles after playing Lady Macbeth in a 2016 Berkeley Rep production, as well as a high school production when she was 14. Her work with Coen has stemmed across a range of projects including Blood Simple and Fargo.
Last year saw McDormand win her second Oscar for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, and she will next be heard as God in Amazon’s Good Omen’s.
The most recent major adaptation of Macbeth took place in 2015, directed by Justin Kurzel, starring James McAvoy and Keely Hawes. The majority of reviews were positive, with Peter Bradshaw from The Guardian praising Kurzel for his “operatic verve.”
While Coen has some pressure on his shoulders, his fantastic and experienced cast should help enable a successful adaptation to come forth.