Seeing as Lady Macbeth is one of the most infamous and memorable characters who has appeared in all of Shakespeare’s works, and she’s a domineering woman who leads her confused husband down a dark path of ambition-driven bad decision making, any successful production of the story needs to find as powerful an actress as it can possibly acquire to play her. That includes director Justin Kurzel’s (The Snowtown Murders) upcoming film adaptation of the story, which currently has Michael Fassbender attached in the lead role of the would-be King of Scotland.
Kurzel’s first move when it came to filling the Lady Macbeth role was to sign up Natalie Portman, but when she had to eventually drop out of the project he suddenly got sent back to the drawing board. Well, Deadline is reporting that another round of searching for an actress with that certain je ne sais quoi needed to pull the role off is over, and this time around he’s decided to sign up bewitching French actress Marion Cotillard.
This new casting can probably be seen as a positive or a negative, depending on which way you want to look at it. On one hand, Cotillard is an actress who’s always much more natural and affecting when she’s working in her native French, so giving her the task of delivering mouthfuls of Shakespearian dialogue might not be the best fit for her particular set of skills. On the other hand, she’s also a screen presence who naturally exudes far more power and danger than Natalie Portman often does, so she’s likely to bring much more gravity to the role than Portman would have had she stuck with it. Perhaps the deciding factor concerning whether this proves to be an affective casting or not will be Kurzel, who showed with Snowtown that he clearly has a talent for drawing good performances out of his actors.
Of course, even if Kurzel had gone and done something ridiculous like casting Cameron Diaz in the Lady Macbeth role, we’d probably still all be looking forward to Macbeth because of the Fassbender factor. As long as he stays attached to the title role, this one is golden.