A deal has been struck which will bring Academy Award winners Denzel Washington and Frances McDormand’s The Tragedy of Macbeth to Apple TV+ following its theatrical run. If that weren’t already enough golden statues, the Shakespeare adaptation is being directed by Oscar winner Joel Coen, with the plan now to release The Tragedy of Macbeth theatrically worldwide in the fourth quarter by A24, before its global launch on Apple TV+.
The Tragedy of Macbeth is likely to be an awards contender thanks to its vastly impressive creative pedigree both in front of and behind the camera, giving Apple TV+ a very prestige title to add to their ever-growing streaming catalogue.
The latest feature version of the beloved William Shakespeare play is being adapted and directed by Joel Coen, this time flying solo and without his brother and frequent collaborator Ethan. This latest adaptation is set to star the acting powerhouse and Academy Award winner that is Denzel Washington as the titular Macbeth with fellow Academy Award winner and Nomadland star Frances McDormand as Lady Macbeth. McDormand has, of course, worked with the Coen Brothers multiple times before having starred in their critically acclaimed crime thriller Fargo as well as the black comedy Burn After Reading among others.
Alongside Denzel Washington and McDormand, The Tragedy of Macbeth will star In Bruges’ Brendan Gleeson as King Duncan, Straight Outta Compton star Corey Hawkins as Macduff, The Legend of Buster Scruggs alum Harry Melling as Malcolm, and The Queen’s Gambit star Moses Ingram as Lady Macduff.
For those unfamiliar with the Bard’s story, Macbeth follows a Scottish lord who becomes convinced by a trio of witches that it is his destiny to become the king of Scotland. With the help of his dangerously ambitious wife, Macbeth goes to extreme and violent lengths to seize the crown and claim what he believes to be his rightful place as king.
Frances McDormand, who recently won an Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in Nomadland, has since revealed what is it that makes Joel Coen’s adaptation of the classic play different from any of its predecessors. “I think a very important thing about Joel’s adaptation is that we are not calling it Macbeth. We’re calling it The Tragedy of Macbeth, which I think is an important distinction,” she explained. “In Joel’s adaptation, we are exploring the age of the characters and our adaptation the Macbeths are older. Both Denzel Washington and I are older than what is often cast as the Macbeths. We’re postmenopausal, we’re past childbearing age. So that puts a pressure on their ambition to have the crown. I think the most important distinction is that it is their last chance for glory.”
Much like the rest of the movie-making world, The Tragedy of Macbeth has faced some delays due to the ongoing global situation. Production was halted in March last year, before commencing again in July. The Tragedy of Macbeth has been shot entirely in black and white and was filmed entirely on sound stages in order to create a feel that is “untethered from reality”.
So once again, The Tragedy of Macbeth will be theatrically released by A24 followed by global launch on Apple TV+ later this year. This comes to us from Deadline.