Fresh from a critically lauded premiere at Cannes, Jason Kurzel’s highly anticipated new version of Macbeth released its first trailer this week. The upcoming adaptation of Shakespeare’s tragedy stars Michael Fassbender as the titular ambitious king and Marion Cotillard as his scheming, wrathful wife.
The cinematically arresting trailer emphasizes the play’s timeless themes of war, ambition, politics and desire. Opening with atmospheric shots of stunning, mist-ridden Scottish hills, the camera then turns to focus on Macbeth’s war-torn face in the middle of a battlefield. This opening shot establishes the trailer’s emphasis on the story’s climatic battles, most of which usually take place off stage when the play is performed, but which look set to be used to great effect in this adaptation.
The trailer is an evocative and intense whirlwind: the viewer is treated to glimpses of Macbeth as King, bloody battlefields, a pale Lady Macbeth praying and, perhaps most memorably, a single tear cascading down the Scottish King’s face. The film has an epic feel, appropriate for an adaptation of one of Shakespeare’s most iconic tragedies. The play’s original setting is evoked through the Scottish landscape and medieval costumes, designed by Jacqueline Durran who won an Oscar in 2013 for her sumptuous costume design in Joe Wright’s Anna Karenina.
Interestingly, the play’s most famous lines remain absent from the trailer, but viewers are left in no doubt that the pairing of Fassbender and Cotillard will be a dynamic and memorable one. Their casting, this tantalizing trailer and the five-star reviews received in Cannes make Macbeth one of 2015’s most anticipated productions. The film will be released on 2 October 2015.