Frances McDormand and Denzel Washington to Lead ‘Macbeth’ from Joel Coen and A24

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Zack Sharf
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Frances McDormand and Denzel Washington are teaming up for what is now one of the hottest projects in the industry: “Macbeth.” The latest screen adaptation of the classic Shakespeare play will be written and directed by Joel Coen, making it a rare endeavor without his filmmaking brother Ethan. The project is being set up at A24 with the backing of producer Scott Rudin, who has partnered with the studio before on Oscar-nominated hits like “Lady Bird.”

“Macbeth” was first adapted for the big screen in 1948 by Orson Welles and was most recently done in 2015 with Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard starring as Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, respectively. Justin Kurzel directed the 2015 adaptation. Coen’s take on the material will have Washington star as the Scottish lord who discovers in a prophecy from three witches that he’s to become the king of Scotland. Macbeth works with his quietly mischievous wife to assume the title.

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Both McDormand and Washington are two-time Oscar winners, with the former winning Best Actress trophies for “Fargo” and “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” and the latter taking home Best Supporting Actor for “Glory” and Best Actor for “Training Day.” McDormand and Joel Coen have been married since 1984 and have worked together on “Fargo,” “Blood Simple,” “Raising Arizona,” “Barton Fink,” “The Hudsucker Proxy,” “The Man Who Wasn’t There,” “Burning After Reading,” and Hail, Caesar!”

The plan is for Coen and the actors to finish shooting “Macbeth” by the end of the year.

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