Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
First Official Look: Jared Leto As The Joker In 'Suicide Squad' First Official Look: Jared Leto As The Joker In 'Suicide Squad' Joss Whedon Says He Earned More Making 'Dr. Horrible' Than 'The Avengers,' Weighs In On Marvel Vs. DC Joss Whedon Says He Earned More Making 'Dr. Horrible' Than 'The Avengers,' Weighs In On Marvel Vs. DC Tom Hardy Met Mel Gibson And Made Him A Bracelet, Says Michael Fassbender Was "The Sh*t" In School Tom Hardy Met Mel Gibson And Made Him A Bracelet, Says Michael Fassbender Was "The Sh*t" In School Native Actors Walk Off Set Of Adam Sandler's 'Ridiculous 6' Over Disrespectful, Insulting Script Native Actors Walk Off Set Of Adam Sandler's 'Ridiculous 6' Over Disrespectful, Insulting Script Watch: Johnny Depp Rages As Whitey Bulger In First Trailer For Gangster Tale 'Black Mass' Watch: Johnny Depp Rages As Whitey Bulger In First Trailer For Gangster Tale 'Black Mass' Gaspar Noe's 3D 'Love' And More Added To Cannes Film Festival Lineup Gaspar Noe's 3D 'Love' And More Added To Cannes Film Festival Lineup First Look: Johnny Depp Goes Gangster In As Whitey Bulger In 'Black Mass' First Look: Johnny Depp Goes Gangster In As Whitey Bulger In 'Black Mass' Watch: Tom Hanks, Leonardo DiCaprio, Anne Hathaway, Michael Fassbender And More Talk The Art Of Acting Watch: Tom Hanks, Leonardo DiCaprio, Anne Hathaway, Michael Fassbender And More Talk The Art Of Acting Review: Marvel’s ‘Avengers: Age Of Ultron’ Starring Robert Downey Jr. Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson & More Review: Marvel’s ‘Avengers: Age Of Ultron’ Starring Robert Downey Jr. Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson & More Watch: Quentin Tarantino, David Fincher, Christopher Nolan, And More Talk The Art Of Filmmaking Watch: Quentin Tarantino, David Fincher, Christopher Nolan, And More Talk The Art Of Filmmaking Christopher Nolan's Favorite Sequence From His Movies Is The Airplane Kidnapping Scene From 'The Dark Knight Rises' Christopher Nolan's Favorite Sequence From His Movies Is The Airplane Kidnapping Scene From 'The Dark Knight Rises' Joss Whedon Calls Edgar Wright's 'Ant-Man' "The Best Script Marvel Ever Had," Warns Of Serialized Moviemaking Joss Whedon Calls Edgar Wright's 'Ant-Man' "The Best Script Marvel Ever Had," Warns Of Serialized Moviemaking The 41 Most Anticipated Movies Of Summer 2015 The 41 Most Anticipated Movies Of Summer 2015 Watch: First Teaser For 'Star Wars: Rogue One,' Plot Details Confirmed Watch: First Teaser For 'Star Wars: Rogue One,' Plot Details Confirmed Martin Scorsese's List Of 85 Must-See Films Martin Scorsese's List Of 85 Must-See Films The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen Best Of 2014: The 15 Best Movie Soundtracks Of 2014 Best Of 2014: The 15 Best Movie Soundtracks Of 2014 The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki

Detailed Drafts Of Laurence Olivier's Unmade 'Macbeth' Movie Script Found

The Playlist By India Ross | The Playlist January 31, 2013 at 1:48PM

Remember that time when Indiana Jones found the Ark of the Covenant? This is a bit like that.
1
Laurence Olivier

Remember that time when Indiana Jones found the Ark of the Covenant? This is a bit like that.

In the rural university town of Exeter, England, an academic has uncovered thirteen versions of a lost screenplay for Laurence Olivier’s "Macbeth." Exploring the library’s Laurence Olivier Archive (probably a good bet when hoping to come across such documents), the lecturer discovered a final shooting script adorned with intricate set designs and technical instructions, despite the theatrical icon’s life-long protestations that a mere “sketch” was all that remained.

While eighteen screen versions of Macbeth have been produced to date, Olivier’s was never made. Financially beleaguered, the project, which was to star Olivier and his then-wife Vivien Leigh, and would have seen them reprise what were widely believed to be their finest roles of the English stage, was derailed and abandoned. Things get a bit Da Vinci Code when one looks into the history of the Scottish Play. Shrouded in theatrical lore – a mystique which Olivier wielded with particularly public vigor after the ignominious loss of his own adaptation – "Macbeth" has haunted its prospective re-tellers with the kind of morbid revenge last seen from Banquo’s ghost. Its run on stage and screen has been beset with cast fatalities, financial ruin, and a notable severing of Macduff’s thumbs in a production of 1794. Abraham Lincoln himself purportedly read passages from Duncan’s assassination in the week prior to his death.

Under academic scrutiny since its discovery, Olivier’s screenplay is a blueprint for what should have been a cogent re-working by an insider who knew the character intimately, and an answer to the 1948 rendition by a very on-form Orson Welles. Olivier’s boldest pitch was to sever the “dagger” speech, omitting the murder of Duncan, while the opening had been re-imagined as a character study of a wounded Macbeth leaning into a pit, staring at a reflection of himself with “his blood colouring all the water around him”.

Alas, the stars have hidden their fires, or something like that, and we will never see the great Shakespearean’s vision come to fruition. The other eighteen versions will have to suffice. [Guardian]

This article is related to: Laurence Olivier


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates