EXCLUSIVE: A24’s Macbeth is just one of the many feature productions to hit pause out of safety during the coronavirus climate. The latest feature version of the William Shakespeare play, adapted and directed by Joel Coen, sans brother Ethan, was set to film here in Los Angeles.
The pic stars Denzel Washington as Macbeth with Frances McDormand as Lady Macbeth, along with Brendan Gleeson as Duncan, Corey Hawkins as Macduff and The Legend of Buster Scruggs alum Harry Melling as Malcolm. It’s Joel Coen’s ninth movie with wife McDormand. Scott Rudin is also reteaming with Coen and producing Macbeth. Rudin won the Oscar for Best Picture for Coen’s No Country for Old Men.
Macbeth follows a Scottish lord who becomes convinced by a trio of witches that he is destined to become king of Scotland. With the help of his ambitious wife, he goes to extreme and violent lengths to seize the crown.
Washington is no stranger to the Bard, having played the title role in the 1990 NYC Shakespeare in the Park stage production of Richard III and the role of Brutas in the spring 2005 Broadway production of Julius Caesar which wound up reportedly doing quite financially, recouping its $3M investment back in the day. Washington also played the role of Don Pedro in Kenneth Branagh’s 1993 feature adaptation of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing which grossed over $22.5M WW.
Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard starred in the last feature version of Macbeth from director Justin Kurzel back in 2015.
Other notable Shakespeare titles at the domestic box office include Franco Zeffirelli’s 1990 Hamlet starring Mel Gibson and Glenn Close which did $20.7M and Kenneth Branagh’s 1989 Henry V which grossed $10.1M.