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Production on Hold for A24’s ‘Macbeth,’ Starring Denzel Washington & Frances McDormand

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Mandatory Credit: Photo by Matt Baron/REX/Shutterstock (9764592e) Denzel Washington 'The Equalizer 2' film premiere, Arrivals, Los Angeles, USA - 17 Jul 2018

According to Deadline, the awaited “Macbeth” adaptation from A24 and director Joel Coen has now halted due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The film will star Academy Award winning actors Denzel Washington (“Fences,” “Malcolm X”) as Macbeth and Frances McDormand (“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” “Fargo”) as Lady Macbeth.

The film is directed and adapted by Coen, without his longtime collaborator and brother, Ethan. Scott Rudin rejoins Coen as producer on the project. Rudin also oversaw production for the Coen brothers’ Best Picture-winning “No Country For Old Men.”

The upcoming feature is a new adaptation of the famous William Shakespeare story about the straining psychological effects of a power hungry prophetic man influenced by three witches, as told in the original literature. “Macbeth” has had many lives on screen, including iterations directed by Orson Welles, Roman Polanski and in 2015 with Justin Kurziel’s film which starred Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard. Kurziel’s adaptation secured over $1 million at the domestic box office and over $16 million at the worldwide tier.

“Macbeth” will be distributed by A24, the company which released a slate in 2019 that included “Uncut Gems,” “Midsommar,” Indie Spirit winner “The Farewell” and “The Lighthouse.” Their upcoming schedule includes David Lowery’s “The Green Knight,” which was initially debuting at SXSW Film Festival, “Zola,” Saint Maud,” “Minari” and the recently released “First Cow.”

The coronavirus caused Cannes Film Festival to issue an expected delay as the industry continues to push pause on many other film and television productions for the foreseeable future. Other productions to cease filming include Marvel’s forthcoming Disney+ series, “WandaVision,” “Loki” and “Falcon and the Winter Soldier.” Netflix’s “The Witcher” suffered a production postponement, as well as Scott Ridley’s next feature, “The Last Duel.”

What do you think of A24’s “Macbeth” halting production until further notice? Share your thoughts on the effects of the coronavirus on the recent film delays below!

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Written by Jessica Peña

Jessica Peña studied journalism at Volunteer State Community College before she began writing about film on a personal blog that sprouted from an electronic media course. She is now a film journalist for Awards Circuit, as well as a content editor and writer for the UK-based site JumpCut Online. She also loves the Child's Play/Chucky franchise with no end in sight.


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