Scorsese and Branagh May Team Up for ‘Macbeth’


In 2013, Kenneth Branagh, one of the film world’s biggest Shakespeare enthusiasts, directed and starred in a lauded version of The Bard’s Scottish Play at the Machester International Festival. Critics praised Branagh’s staging and performance, and fans of Branagh’s film versions of Shakespeare (including this critic) were upset that they would no be able to see it live. Branagh’s best work (at least cinematically) tends to be his Shakespearean work, and even his non-Shakespeare film tend to skew to the boldly theatrical (he went so far as to include a song from As You Like It in his recent film version of Cinderella). 

Branagh, as revealed recently by The Guardian, is very close to striking a deal with, of all people, Martin Scorsese to adapt his particular version of Macbeth to the big screen. Scorsese has surprisingly never directed a Shakespeare film, and the grand tragic bloodiness of Macbeth seems like a good fit. Branagh is very hopeful about bringing Scorsese aboard, and film enthusiasts the world over are becoming giddy about the production. It’s sounding like the Branagh/Scorsese film would be a staging of the play, on a stage, in the theatrical costumes, and with the Manchester cast, rather than a cinematic production with on-location shoots. 


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This film has nothing to do with the upcoming 2015 version of Macbeth directed by Julian Kurtzel and starring Michael Fassbender as the murderous Scot, and Marion Cotillard as Lady Macbeth. Scorsese’s Macbeth would have to wait until after the director is done making Silence set for release in 2016. 

Witney Seibold is a contributor to the CraveOnline Film Channel, and co-host of The B-Movies Podcast. You can follow him on “Twitter” at @WitneySeibold, where he is slowly losing his mind.