Laurence Olivier’s ‘Macbeth’ Screenplays Unearthed
A British professor has stumbled across Laurence Olivier’s screenplays for a 1950s movie version of Macbeth which were thought to have been lost. The University of Exeter’s Jennifer Barnes was researching Olivier’s film version of Richard III at the British Library’s Laurence Olivier Archive when she came across references to Macbeth scripts. Olivier had tried to mount the filmed version of Shakespeare’s play, but it was shelved due to financing problems. He would and wife Vivien Leigh would have played not only Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, but also two of the three witches, the screenplays reveal. Olivier also planned to cut out the “Is this a dagger I see before me?” line, The Guardian reports. While he was still alive, Olivier contended there were no surviving copies of his screenplay, but Barnes said “I was going through the catalog” of papers acquired by the library from Olivier’s family in 2000, “and I pulled up a script and found it was Macbeth. I didn’t believe it because I knew it wasn’t supposed to exist… I guess the people who cataloged them didn’t know how important they were”. The screenplay ends with a spectacular fight between Macbeth and Macduff. Per The Guardian, Olivier wrote: “Every conceivable trick of fighting that isn’t going to get a laugh must be employed.”
Australia’s Nine Entertainment Slashing Staff, Budget
The newly recapitalized Nine Entertainment Co. is launching a round of cutbacks involving voluntary redundancies and reduced operating costs and program budgets. Nine’s managing director David Gyngell cited the continuing downturn in the ad market: “The environment remains difficult and we have to toughen up and find ways to save costs and operate more efficiently.” Nine has not revealed the extent of the cuts but has indicated it’s unlikely to bid for rights to the 2016 Rio Olympics after losing money on London Games for which it shared rights with Foxtel. Gyngell said the new ownership structure following the $A3.4 billion ($3.57 billion) debt-for-equity swap will take effect February 6, when U.S. debt funds Apollo Global Management and Oaktree Capital Management become the largest shareholders. – Don Groves
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