Macbeth was released at the Cannes Film Festival in France on May 23rd, 2015. It was released on October 2nd in the United Kingdom and it will come to theaters in the United States on December 4th of this year. It was directed by Justin Kurzel and produced by Iain Canning, Laura Hastings-Smith, and Emile Sherman. The screenplay was written by Michael Lesslie, Jacob Koskoff, and Todd Louiso. Music is by Jed Kurzel and cinematography was done by Adam Arkapaw. It was edited by Chris Dickens. Production companies for Macbeth include See-Saw Films, Creative Scotland, Entertainment, Anton Capital, DMC Film, Film4, and StudioCanal. It was distributed by The Weinstein Company, who acquired rights to do so from Studio Canal on October 23rd. Running time is 113 minutes and the country of origin is the United Kingdom. The spoken language is English.
The cast consists of Michael Fassbender as Macbeth, Marion Cotillard as Lady Macbeth, Paddy Considine as Banquo, Sean Harris as Macduff, Jack Reynor as Malcolm, Elizabeth Debicki as Lady Macduff, David Thewlis as King Duncan, Ross Anderson as Rosse, David Hayman as Lennox, Maurice Roeves as Menteith, Hilton McRae as Macdonwald, Seylan Baxter, Lynn Kennedy, Kayla Fallon and Amber Rissmann as the witches, Lochlann Harris as Fleance, Barrie Martin as Thane, Rebecca Benson as a maidservant, James Harkness as Angus, Scott Dymond as Seyton, Gerard Miller as Macbeth’s messenger, Shaun Lucas as Earl, and Jamie Flint as a soldier.
Principal photography began on February 6th, 2014 in Scotland. The duration of filming lasted seven weeks and it took place in both Scotland and England. Filming was done at Hankley Common, located in Elstead, Surrey. The cast was seen on February 26th, at Bamburgh Castle in Northumberland, and other locations used in the filming of Macbeth include Cambridgeshire, Ely Cathedral in Ely, and Quiraing in Skye.
In April 18th, 2014, a few pictures from the film were released. On May 14th that year some posters were revealed. StudioCanal released the very first trailer on June 4th, 2015. It attracted more than 2 million views. On August 27th of this year character posters were released. The Weinstein Company released the first US trailer on September 1st.
As the film has been released in certain parts of the world—although not yet in the United States— there are some opinions and reviews floating around about the subject. It comes as little surprise that Macbeth, the 2015 movie, is based on the timeless classic written centuries ago by the legendary William Shakespeare. Shakespeare purists may not be very happy about some of the changes involved.
First of all, there are other screenwriters (three in fact) that are mentioned before Shakespeare. This is because it will not be exactly like the original. There is certainly going to be some rewriting involved in the 2015 film Macbeth, but hopes are still high. The other good news is that the movie was filmed on Scottish soil which is where the Shakespearian story takes place. The actors also speak with Scottish accents.
Unfortunately there has been some criticism about the delivery involved in the new movie. Stage actors are accustomed to making the old English pop with meaning and become comprehensible, but some people have been saying that it is not all that easy to understand the actors in the movie. The cast worked with Neil Swain as a coach but this seems not to have been quite enough. Despite not being able to clearly comprehend the words being said, the emotion with which they are delivered is said to be very convincing, although it produces some mumbling. Lines are spoken conversationally and with fewer words to get the point across. The style of speaking seems to be intentional and in many ways it does serve a positive effect that many people appreciate.
The legendary tale goes something like this: Macbeth and Banquo are generals serving King Duncan of Scotland. Three witches inform Macbeth that he will Thane of Cawdor and eventually the King of Scotland. Lady Macbeth convinces her husband to murder Duncan, which he does, making it look like the servants are responsible. Consequently he is given the Crown. Banquo becomes suspicious so Macbeth has both he and his son murdered—except that Banquo’s son, Fleance, survives. The witches continue to give Macbeth predictions to give him faith in himself. Macbeth then has Macduff’s family murdered. Macduff, stricken with grief and vengeance, consorts with Malcolm in an effort to overthrow Macbeth. Lady Macbeth commits suicide. The ultimate prediction of the three witches comes true when Macbeth dies at the hands of Macduff and Malcolm. Malcolm then becomes the King.
Of all of Shakespeare’s plays, Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet are doubtlessly the ones most often to be turned into films. Many people refer to Macbeth simply as “The Scottish Play” in a way that is almost superstitious. Macbeth is, doubtlessly, one of the most gory and tragic plays among the list, even for Shakespeare. Many also say that the play is one of the most cinematic because of the scenes involved.
Even though it hasn’t yet arrived in the U.S., the ratings for Macbeth online seem to be rather promising. IMDb gives it 7.6/10 stars and Rotten Tomatoes gives it an approval rating of 90%. It has been called a “strong/powerful adaptation” a “must see” and “poetry in motion.” Critics, on the other hand, have said that the film is better suited for Shakespeare purists. Other people claim that it is difficult to follow unless an individual is already familiar with the play. They call it boring, disappointingly conventional, and devoid of empathy or urgency. They say it is austere and unemotional. Overall it seems to be fairly well liked, and, despite the critics, there are plenty of people who rave about the film. After Macbeth comes to the United States our country will give its own feedback, which could differ from the UK. In just a few more months you will be able to watch it–if you like Shakespeare, blood, and violence–and form your own opinion.