Joel and Ethan Coen may never create another film together, but it doesn’t mean they’re done with filmmaking. Ethan may be, but Joel has made his first solo film, and it looks amazing. Denzel Washington plays Lord Macbeth and Frances McDormand plays Lady Macbeth in A24’s The Tragedy of Macbeth, a story of “murder, lunacy, ambition, and wrathful cunning.” Although the black-and-white picture is based on William Shakespeare’s tragedy of the same name, McDormand aims to emphasize the difference between the source text and The Tragedy.
“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,” she said. “In Joel’s adaptation, we are exploring the age of the characters and in our adaptation the Macbeths are older. Both Denzel 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.”
With Washington’s two Oscars, McDormand’s four Oscars, and another four for Coen, the 94th Academy Awards might be a big night for Macbeth.
Bertie Carvel, Alex Hassell, Corey Hawkins, Harry Melling, Brendan Gleeson, Moses Ingram, and Kathryn Hunter feature in The Tragedy of Macbeth, which will be released in cinemas on December 25 and on Apple TV+ on January 14.