New Look At Michael Fassbender And Marion Cotillard In Macbeth

Justin Kurzel's adaptation heads north of the wall

Debuting in Empire magazine last year was a first-look at Justin Kurzel’s Macbeth showing its stars Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard in a tranquil moment. Three new stills have now landed from the Shakespeare adaptation, offering a fresh entry point into the Scotland of the film and flaunting the rich costumes assembled by Oscar winner Jacqueline Durran. Click on the thumbnails below to enlarge them. These quiet moments before the storm will prove few and far between in a story that sees Scottish tribal politics spill over into the kind of bloodletting that would make even Highlander recoil. According to the film's official synopsis folio, this Macbeth is "a reimagining of what wartime must have been like for one of Shakespeare’s most famous and compelling characters, a story of all-consuming passion and ambition set in war-torn medieval Scotland”.

Expect elements of war film, then, as Fassbender’s Macbeth, general in King Duncan’s army, stumbles upon three women in the aftermath of battle. They prophecy that he will become king, setting in train a story of ambition and double-dealing that has confounded GSCE English students for centuries. Cotillard, of course, is Lady Macbeth, an arch politician with the scent of glory in her nostrils who does little to discourage her vain husband in his ambitions.

If you’ve experienced Kurzel’s bleak, uneasy Snowtown, it’s easy to imagine the Australian as a perfect fit for the material. His research brief involved discovering what was that time like and how brutal it was. “It reminded me a lot of a Western,” he expands in the press notes, "and of a landscape and atmosphere that felt much more dangerous than I’d ever seen before from adaptations of Macbeth”.

Also aboard the Film With The Name That Shall Not Be Mentioned are Sean Harris as Macduff, Thane of Fife, Paddy Considine as Banquo and David Thewlis as Duncan. Macbeth will be premiering in Cannes next month before making its UK bow in October.