Joel Coen to Direct Macbeth Starring Denzel Washington and Frances McDormand


After three and a half decades of working together, one of the Coen Brothers is finally stepping out on his own. Joel Coen has signed on to write and direct an adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Macbeth with his wife Frances McDormand set to star alongside Denzel Washington. This is the first time Coen will direct a project without his brother Ethan at his side, although many of their previous films had Joel Coen listed as the sole director due to DGA restrictions on multiple credits. Hit the jump for more details.

According to Deadline, Joel Coen will direct a new version of Macbeth from his own original script. Denzel Washington will star in the tragic lead role with Frances McDormand set to play his power hungry wife, who helps convince him to kill the King of Scotland in order to seize the crown. The movie is expected to shoot before the end of the year and Scott Rudin will produce with A24 distributing worldwide.

There have been many versions of Macbeth on screen over the years with Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard starring in one fairly recent version in 2015. Considering that the Coens rarely make movies based on existing source material, it should be interesting to see Joel’s take on The Bard. Denzel has done Shakespeare before, previously starring in Kenneth Branagh’s 1993 version of Much Ado About Nothing. Are you looking forward to Joel Coen’s Macbeth?

Around the Web:

  • Will Denzel don a Scottish accent?

  • Jake

    First the Farrelly Brothers and now the Coens lol? Not sure how I feel about them not working together. Wonder what the reason was. Ethan isn’t a fan of Shakespeare?

  • Lisa Naarseth Myklebust

    Again with these Shakespeare movies. I’ve watched probably 30+ Shakespeare adaptations by bow and they’re all dull and boring. And those that aren’t, have the Shakespeare adaption factor as their biggest weakness. These Hollywood directors need to stop glorifying this guy and stop regurgitating the same one-noteo screenplay after the other. The guy was a legend; we get it! But 16th century poetry doesn’t translate well to movies. The track record has been pretty clear there.

  • Fletcher Thomas

    That’s a shame

  • Lori Cerny

    Have you seen Akira Kurosawa’s Throne of Blood (1957) or Ran (1985)?

    They are both visually striking, well-acted films with horses, Samurai, and scene-stealing femme fatales, oh, and arrows, lots of arrows.