In spite of his impact on storytelling to this very day, Shakespeare’s writing is something many avoid truly delving into. Oftentimes, it’s a decision informed by flashbacks of prescribed examinations in stale high school classrooms, or the assumption there’s nothing left to be explored. But perhaps the cinematics charms of Denzel Washington, Frances McDormand, and director Joel Coen may change minds in A24’s The Tragedy of Macbeth.
The forthcoming adaptation marks a rare solo effort by Joel Coen, written and helmed without his brother Ethan (his first since The Naked Man starring Michael Rapaport, co-written with J. Todd Anderson); which is remarkable when you consider how their legendary creative partnership has resulted in such modern classics as Miller’s Crossing, Fargo, The Big Lebowski, O Brother, Where Art Thou?, No Country For Old Men, True Grit, and Inside Llewyn Davis. Based on the black-and-white footage provided in the first trailer, it seems like he did just fine. More than fine, in fact. But I’ll let you be the judge.
Based on the everything, The Tragedy of Macbeth will follow the source material very closely, right down to the iconic line of dialogue spoken by a witch sister: “By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes.”
Denzel Washington will obviously take on the role of Lord Macbeth himself, who sets out to become King of Scotland, starring opposite of longtime Coen Brothers collaborator Frances McDormand – who has previously featured in Miller’s Crossing, Barton Fink, Fargo, Burn After Reading and Hail, Caesar! The duo will be joined by Corey Hawkins as Macduff, Brendan Gleeson as King Duncan, Harry Melling as Malcolm, Moses Ingram as Lady Macduff, and more.
A24’s The Tragedy of Macbeth starring Denzel Washington and Frances McDormand will hit theatres on December 25th before streaming on Apple TV+ from January 14th – check out the trailer above.