Filming on Justin Kurzel‘s Macbeth is currently underway, and the first two images have been released. The adaptation of Shakespeare’s play stars Michael Fassbender as the titular Scottish king with Marion Cotillard playing Lady Macbeth. In an interview with the Daily Mail, Fassbender says all the cast speaks with Scottish accents except for Cotillard. “We felt it would be unreasonable for her to put on a Scottish accent,” says Fassbender. “It would not be unreasonable to presume that her character spent time in the French court.” I’m willing to allow for that assumption when there’s a great actress like Cotillard in such a juicy role.
Hit the jump to check out the Macbeth images and to learn more about Kurzel and Fassbender’s take on the material. The film also stars Paddy Considine, David Thewlis, Sean Harris, Jack Reynor and Elizabeth Debicki. Macbeth opens in the U.K. in early 2015.
Although Kurzel’s Macbeth will stick to the original 11th century setting (producer Iain Canning insists, “The story of Macbeth is eternally pertinent”) and use Shakepseare’s verse, the script has been edited. I assume that it’s been cut down for time since Shakespeare’s epics can easily run over three hours. However, “There’s a vibrancy and intelligence to the script,” says Fassbender.Fassbender also says that he doesn’t see Macbeth as “evil”, and in fact finds such a reductive description to be unhelpful when it comes to portraying a character:
‘I always have a problem with that word,’ Fassbender said sharply. ‘It never gives me any information, or helps me in any way. I like to find a character’s motivation. I don’t think Macbeth is evil. I think he’s damaged.
‘When we meet him, he’s a man who’s as good as his circumstances will allow. He serves his king loyally and looks after his soldiers.’
Fassbender also points out that not only is Macbeth suffering from PTSD from fighting in wars, but he and Lady Macbeth have also lost a child. These little observations make me even more encouraged for the production because the actor and filmmakers are working from small details rather than trying to turn the story on its head.