The Coen brothers, Joel and Ethan, may never make another movie together, but that doesn’t mean they’re done making movies. Well, maybe Ethan is, but Joel has made his first solo film, and it looks incredible. A24’s The Tragedy of Macbeth stars Denzel Washington as Lord Macbeth and Frances McDormand as Lady Macbeth in a tale of “murder, madness, ambition, and wrathful cunning.” The black-and-white film is based on William Shakespeare’s tragedy of the same name, but McDormand wants to make the distinction between the source text and The Tragedy clear.
“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.”
Between Washington’s pair of Oscars, McDormand’s four Oscars, and another four for Coen, there could be glory for Macbeth during the 94th Academy Awards, too.
The Tragedy of Macbeth, which also stars Bertie Carvel, Alex Hassell, Corey Hawkins, Harry Melling, Brendan Gleeson, Moses Ingram, and Kathryn Hunter, hits theaters on December 25 before being released on Apple TV+ on January 14.