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Name: Macbeth 

Release Date: October 2015 in the UK; premiering at Cannes Film Festival in May.

Dramatis Personae (literally): Acting powerhouses Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard, who had audiences holding their breaths in 12 Years A Slave and Inception respectively, will take on the roles of Lord and Lady Macbeth. We can already picture this intense pairing. Sean Harris steps in as the gallant Macduff.

Other than English majors, who’s going to bother cracking the archaic language for a film? Shakespeare, it might be; dreary, it won’t. The creative force behind the film is Australian director Justin Kurzel, whose repertoire includes the chilling Snowtown. Despite Macbeth being one of Shakespeare’s darker plays, Fassbender recently said Kurzel has taken an even more ‘raw’ approach to the classic, featuring a gothic colour palette, gritty costumes and war paint. Might be time to brush up on your Macbeth notes.

Sounds good…but what makes it any different from the many previous adaptations? Looks like this version will delve deeper into the twisted psyche of Lord Macbeth much more than its predecessors. Kurzel blurs the ‘evil’ tag traditionally associated with Macbeth, exploring the possibility that he is a “man damaged by war trying to rebuild his relationship with his beloved wife.”  We’re intrigued.

For those of you who slept through high school English Literature, what is the story? At the behest of a prophecy and his ambitious wife, Scottish war hero Macbeth – whose name ironically means ‘son of life’ in Gaelic – kills the reigning King Duncan, taking his place. What unravels is Macbeth’s descent into paranoia and tyranny as he rules over war-torn, medieval Scotland.

In a nutshell: Double, double toil and (a lot of) trouble.

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