There’s an old theatre superstition that you should never say the name of “The Scottish Play” inside a theater because it will surely bring about disaster for your production. Well, fortunately for us that has nothing to do with film, because with the release of the U.S. trailer for the newest movie version of Macbeth, we’ll probably be talking about it a lot.
Simply put, this trailer is stunning. Our expectations were already high for the film after it was nominated earlier this year for the Cannes Film Festival’s highest honor, the Palme d’Or. Starring Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard as Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, respectively, the movie looks like it has an epic quality befitting a classic Shakespearean tragedy. Regicide, magic, betrayal, ghosts, vengeance — Macbeth has almost everything you could ask for, and if the promise of this trailer is fulfilled, we’ll be getting all of it. The ethereal feeling of the trailer seems to embrace the witchcraft and prophecy that underlies the life of Macbeth during his murderous rise to power.
Adapting Shakespeare to film can be hit or miss. For every Kenneth Branagh version of Hamlet you get a Mel Gibson version. Even Macbeth has been adapted for screen before with mixed results. Roman Polanski’s 1971 version received positive reviews, but 2006’s version with Sam Worthington did not.
When utilized correctly, cinema can offer a beautiful and amazing version of Shakespeare plays. You may have never read Titus Andronicus, you may never even have heard of that Shakespeare play, but the 1999 version starring Anthony Hopkins is one of the best Shakespearean adaptations ever put on screen.
This Macbeth opens on December 4th and cannot get here soon enough for this Shakespeare-loving nerd.
What other Shakespeare plays deserve another shot at cinematic greatness. Tell us your nominees in the comments while I continue arguing with other nerds that Macbeth was not a tragic hero.
HT: Indie Wire
Image: Weinstein Company