Apple Original Films and A24 will partner on the release of Joel Coen’s first feature without his brother, The Tragedy of Macbeth, starring Denzel Washington and Frances McDormand. The Tragedy of Macbeth will be released in theaters worldwide ahead of a global launch on Apple TV+.
A loose adaptation of Shakespeare’s “Macbeth,” Coen’s next film follows the same premise — a Scottish lord sets out to become the King of Scotland after being convinced it is his destiny by three witches. Washington will star as Macbeth and McDormand will star as Lady Macbeth. The rest of the cast includes Brendan Gleeson as King Duncan, Corey Hawkins as Macduff, Moses Ingram as Lady Macduff, Harry Melling as Malcolm, as well as Ralph Ineson and Sean Patrick Thomas. Scott Rudin was originally billed as a producer, but after his scandals hit earlier this year, he is no longer involved with the film.
The Tragedy of Macbeth is one of the most highly anticipated films of the year, due to Coen’s first foray as a solo director, the fantastic casting choices, and its distinctive nature as a psychological thriller. In an interview with Indiewire, composer Carter Burwell mentioned that the film has been entirely shot on sound stages: “It’s more like a psychological reality. That said, it doesn’t seem stage-like either.” Burwell continued to say that, “Joel has compared it to German Expressionist film. You’re in a psychological world, and it’s pretty clear right from the beginning the way he’s shot it.”
Coen followed up these comments regarding The Tragedy of Macbeth as a thriller: “It’s interesting how Shakespeare sort of pre-figured certain tropes in American thriller and crime literature that were common in the early part of the 20th century. Which just had to do with, in crime novels, a story centered around a husband and a wife who plotted a murder.”
The film’s joint release deal with Apple and A24 is the latest in a string of streaming deals as more theaters begin to open up as COVID numbers decline. This includes Disney’s deal to license Sony features following their release in theaters and after their Netflix window, as well as WarnerMedia’s decision to release their 2021 features on HBO Max and theaters simultaneously. This new deal only signifies that the industry shake-up will continue to change the way we traditionally watch movies, for better or for worse.
The Tragedy of Macbeth has no release date, but is expected to premiere later this year. The film will be released by A24 in theaters before hitting Apple TV+.