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Joel Coen to Direct Frances McDormand and Denzel Washington in ‘Macbeth’ Adaptation

Written by on March 28, 2019 

As history has proven, it’s not long after a Coen brothers film arrives that we learn of their project. Following their Netflix anthology film The Ballad of Buster Scruggs last fall, we now know what the prolific filmmakers are up to–or at least what one-half of the duo is concocting. In surprising news, only Joel Coen is attached to write and direct this new film: an adaptation of Macbeth.

Deadline reports that Frances McDormand will star in the project and Denzel Washington is in talks to join. Produced by Scott Rudin and distributed by A24, no other details regarding the time period or setting of this update has been revealed, but it was only a few years ago we got Justin Kurzel’s take on the Shakespeare classic, starring Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard.

The oft-adapted tragedy of a Scottish lord and his wife’s descent into power-fueled madness has significance for McDormand specifically. When she was 14, her first performance at Monessen High School was Lady Macbeth. “I spent a lot of time alone reading books, and this was the first time that literature took me into a public place where I could share it with other people,” she New York Times. She also recently performed Macbeth stage at Berkeley Rep’s 2016 production.

Hopefully more details will arrive soon, most notably the reason for Ethan Coen’s absence in the production. Production begins this year.


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