macbeth cast brendan gleeson

Joel Coen‘s take on Macbeth already has Denzel Washington and Frances McDormand as stars, and now it might add another heavy-hitter into the mix. Brendan Gleeson, known for his work in Paddington 2 and some other movies that aren’t Paddington 2, is said to be in talks to join the A24 movie based on the play by a hot up-and-comer named William Shakespeare. The project has Coen going solo for the first time, working without brother Ethan Coen.

Collider broke the news about Brendan Gleeson possibly joining Joel Coen’s Macbeth cast. This isn’t a done deal yet as Gleeson has other commitments, most notably the miniseries A Higher Loyalty, in which the supremely talented Irish actor is set to play Crime Boss/President Donald Trump. Should Gleeson join the Macbeth cast he’ll play King Duncan, the monarch whom Macbeth (Washington) and his wife Lady Macbeth (McDormand) plot to usurp.

In Shakespeare’s Macbeth, a Scottish general is told by a trio of witches that he’s destined to become king. The general and his wife hatch a plan to seize control, and while the plan succeeds at first, it eventually leads to dire consequences. The play has been adapted to film several times, most recently in 2015, when Michael Fassbender played Macbeth and Marion Cotillard played Lady Macbeth. David Thewlis played Duncan in that movie, which was directed by Justin Kurzel.

Normally yet another adaptation of something that we’ve seen dozens of times wouldn’t be that exciting, but the fact that this is Shakespeare by way of one of the Coen Brothers maks this Macbeth worth paying attention to. Throw in three acting giants like Washington, McDormand, and Gleeson, and mix it with the cred the A24 brand brings, and baby, you’ve got a stew going.

It’s not clear how Coen will be approaching this material yet. Is this going to be a modern take? Will it be period appropriate? Will it be darkly comedic as most Coen-related movies are? And just what will a movie from one Coen Brother rather than both look like? I’m curious about the answers to these questions, and I can’t wait to see how this all turns out.

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