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Natalie Portman Out, Marion Cotillard In Opposite Michael Fassbender In 'Macbeth'

by Oliver Lyttelton
August 21, 2013 8:00 AM
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Out damned spot, out I say! A little while back, Natalie Portman signed on to play one of literature's most, uh, supportive spouses, Lady Macbeth in a new film version of Shakespeare's play "Macbeth," to be directed by Justin Kurzel, the Australian helmer who broke through with the deeply grim serial killer picture "Snowtown." But with Portman gearing up her directorial debut "A Tale Of Love And Darkness," it seems that something had to give, and Kurzel's traded one Oscar-winner for another in her place.

Deadline report that "La Vie En Rose" and "Inception" star Marion Cotillard has come on board to replace Portman as Lady M, joining Michael Fassbender, who'll play the title role. While it's a shame that Portman couldn't make it work, this feels, if anything, like a trade up — Cotillard is a more natural fit for the part, and her Gallic origins could add an interesting subtext to the film too.

The film will apparently feature extensive and bloody battle scenes, but will otherwise be a faithful adaptation, set in the 11th century and retaining Shakespeare's dialogue (the script comes from Todd Louiso and Jacob Koskoff). Film4 and StudioCanal are financing, and filming is set to kick off in January, so we could see this in theaters by the end of 2014.

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  • BEF | August 21, 2013 8:53 PMReply

    More "Jane Got a Gun" fallout?

  • oogle monster | August 21, 2013 8:15 PMReply

    Great choice- anyone is better than Portman and Cotillard played a Lady MacBeth like character in Inception. My only concern is her English... even natural English speakers have trouble speaking Shakespeare's dialogue. Cotillard hasn't had as much success in non-French films (Inception may be an exception) so I hope we get some next level shiz here!

  • elle | August 21, 2013 4:54 PMReply

    Eva Green would have been an even better choice. She would have been perfect for that part.

  • Meg | April 21, 2014 4:04 AM

    No, she wouldn't! she can't act!
    Marion Cotillard is an amazing actress and a much better choice!

  • Liam | August 21, 2013 2:45 PMReply

    Yes ! Great casting choice !

  • james | August 21, 2013 1:55 PMReply

    Easily the most talented and beautiful person working today. Her performance in Rust & Bone was one of the greatest of all time.

  • jmp | August 21, 2013 1:45 PMReply

    Cotillard can easily act circles around Natalie Portman.

  • karl | August 21, 2013 11:47 AMReply

    Cotillard is giving Chastain a run for her money when it comes to picking scripts. These two have the most exciting careers right now, but that's also because they're not 40 yet.

  • cineman | August 21, 2013 11:08 AMReply

    Was wondering what the Snowtown guy was up to. That was one of the most disturbing movies I've ever seen (gave me lingering nightmares for a month), so this will be an interesting watch.

    And I love Cotillard playing a bitch.

  • droop | August 21, 2013 10:38 AMReply

    this is great news, cant stand natalie portman

  • Mario | August 21, 2013 1:51 PM

    Right there with you. Huge upgrade.

  • El Hanso | August 21, 2013 10:34 AMReply

    Like Cotillard much better for this role than Portman. Looks much more fitting. The only problem is the language. Cotillard in English doesn't work as good as Cotillard in French. I have serious doubts she can pull off Shakespeare's language.

  • Laura | August 21, 2013 9:10 AMReply

    Oh la la!! Thiz iz verri gud newz.

  • marbles | August 21, 2013 8:22 AMReply

    Yes! Two of my favorite actors together.

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