9. Joel Cohen's Macbeth - Shakespeare Adaptations
Screen adaptations for Shakespeare nowadays tend to be either made directly for TV by the likes of the BBC or live recordings from the Royal Shakespeare Company or National Theatre. Recently, few Shakespearean films beyond the likes of Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing or Justin Kurzel’s critically acclaimed Macbeth, have garnered much attention, commercially or critically. Joel Coen wants to change that with his upcoming version of Macbeth.
Macbeth is one of the most consistently reinvented play in Shakespeare’s repertoire, so he must ensure his film is distinct from seminal versions of Macbeth from the likes of Welles, Polanski and Kurosawa. If anyone can breathe new life into the legendary Scottish play, it’s Joel Coen. He’s writing and directing, and we already know that his wife and frequent collaborator Frances McDormand and Denzel Washington are to star.
As one half of the Coen brothers, Joel already has plenty experience with revitalising old genres; just look at his work in contemporary Westerns like The Ballad of Buster Scruggs and the modern classic No Country for Old Men. Owing to his pedigree, Coen’s Macbeth will hopefully stand out from any other version of Macbeth, and to inspire more directors to tackle Shakespeare more seriously.