Film4′s film adaptation of the Shakespeare classic has Snowtown helmer Justin Kurzel attached to direct. Project is glued together by a number of prior relationships. Michael Fassbender is attached to play the iconic title antihero, with Natalie Portman attached to play his scheming Lady Macbeth. The pair recently filmed Terrence Malick’s untitled Austin-set pic together. Script is by Todd Luiso and Jacob Koskoff, who previously teamed up on 2009′s The Marc Pease Experience. Fassbender’s Shame producers Iaian Canning and Emile Sherman, whose UK-Australia See-Saw banner also produced The King’s Speech, are producing with Film4. Sherman had a hand in financing Kurzel’s feature debut Snowtown (AKA The Snowtown Murders). Kurzel, Fassbender, and Portman are repped by CAA.
Laurence Olivier’s ‘Macbeth’ Screenplays Unearthed
A British professor has stumbled across Laurence Olivier’s screenplays for a 1950s movie version of Macbeth which were thought to have been lost. The University of Exeter’s Jennifer Barnes was researching Olivier’s film version of Richard III at the British Library’s Laurence Olivier Archive when she came across references to Macbeth scripts. Olivier had tried to mount the filmed version of Shakespeare’s play, but it was shelved due to financing problems. He would and wife Vivien Leigh would have played not only Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, but also two of the three witches, the screenplays reveal. Olivier also planned to cut out the “Is this a dagger I see before me?” line, The Guardian reports. While he was still alive, Olivier contended there were no surviving copies of his screenplay, but Barnes said “I was going through the catalog” of papers acquired by the library from Olivier’s family in 2000, “and I pulled up a script and found it was Macbeth. I didn’t believe it because I knew it wasn’t supposed to exist… I guess the people who cataloged them didn’t know how important they were”. The screenplay ends with a spectacular fight between Macbeth and Macduff. Per The Guardian, Olivier wrote: “Every conceivable trick of fighting that isn’t going to get a laugh must be employed.”
Next season on London’s West End is shaping up to be a who’s who of British talent. Helen Mirren, Judi Dench, Daniel Radcliffe, Ben Whishaw and Jude Law are all starring in plays and Whishaw and Dench’s Skyfall director Sam Mendes is prepping a musical production of Charlie And The Chocolate Factory. James McAvoy is the latest to commit to walking the boards, taking on the title role in Macbeth which veteran theater director Jamie Lloyd is mounting as part of the Trafalgar Transformed season. McAvoy has played Macbeth before, albeit in a modernized BBC version in which the Scottish lord was transformed into a top chef. He was last on stage in 2009′s Three Days Of Rain, which Lloyd also directed. He’ll next be seen on screen in Danny Boyle’s Trance and is reprising his role of a young Charles Xavier in Bryan Singer’s X-Men: Days Of Future Past. In a growing trend to reach out to wider audiences,