By the pricking of my thumbs, something prestige-y this way comes. Joel Coen, without Ethan, is taking on the Bard himself in The Tragedy of Macbeth, with his wife Frances McDormand starring alongside none other than Denzel f**king Washington! The first brief but extremely tantalizing trailer dropped today, making the A24/Apple TV+ drama one of the year’s most anticipated and so-far unseen Oscar players.
The film is set to receive its world premiere this week at the New York Film Festival and will premiere in theaters on Christmas Day. Apple TV+ subscribers will be able to watch it on January 14th, for those of you looking to get use out of that service aside from your Ted Lasso binge-watches.
It’s not hard to see why people are excited for this one: That Bergman-esque cinematography! A cast that includes Corey Hawkins, Brendan Gleeson, Ralph Ineson, and Stephen Root! Music by Carter Burwell! Did we mention Denzel? Washington is no stranger to Shakespeare, as fans of Kenneth Branagh’s Much Ado About Nothing can testify. His first stage role was in a 1979 production of Coriolanus, and since then he’s performed as Richard III and Julius Caesar.
The absence of Ethan Coen is certainly intriguing to a fan of the brothers. As Carter Burwell noted in a recent interview, ‘Ethan didn’t want to make movies anymore. He seems to be happy with what he’s just doing. They both have tons of unproduced scripts sitting on shelves, but I don’t know what Joel will do without him.’ If this film is indeed the beginning of a new solo Coen era of cinema then the changes will be agonizingly noted by cinephiles everywhere. Already, this doesn’t seem necessarily Coen-esque: a heightened Shakespeare adaptation shot on sound stages with cinematography like Persona. Whatever the case, I am in. But I have to ask: Will anyone be doing Scottish accents?
Header Image Source: YouTube // A24