The Tragedy of Macbeth's Teaser Is Haunting as All Hell

Joel Coen takes on one of Shakespeare's most iconic tragedies, heading to Apple TV+ this Christmas.

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Denzel Washington cracks a grim smile as Macbeth.
I have no spur to prick the sides of my intent, but only vaulting ambition, which o’erleaps itself and falls on the other...
Screenshot: A24

This Christmas, get ready to wash your hands repeatedly, see daggers before yourself, and take questionable advice from some witches. Especially if you’re Denzel Washington, apparently.

Hot off of enchanting us all with the dark fantasies of The Green Knight, A24 has dropped a new trailer for Joel Coen’s adaptation of Shakespeare’s beloved Scottish tragedy, Macbeth—his first solo directorial credit without his brother Ethan. Starring Denzel Washington as the titular would-be king, and Frances McDormand as Lady Macbeth, the film also stars Corey Hawkins, Brendan Gleeson, and Harry Melling, as we follow the Thane of Glamis’ descent into madness and violence as his political ambitions to steal the throne of Scotland undo him. Also? Sure it’s coming out on Christmas Day, but god if it is not an absolute vibe for spooky season.

The black-and-white pallette, the aspect ratio, the way these soliloquies and famous scenes—like Macbeth’s encounter with the Three Witches—are all framed, The Tragedy of Macbeth looks like a haunting take on Shakespeare’s original work. Even more so than a play as dark as Macbeth is already. But it also looks, lovingly so, quite like less of a widely scaled film adaption and instead riffing on its stage production roots. Time will tell just how faithful to the original work Coen stays, but so far it seems to be a pretty direct take on Macbeth’s narrative and form in the first place. I mean this in the nicest way: this looks like a big budget recording of a theater showing, with one hell of a cast and shot through a Coen lens, and that’s just the most perfect kind of Christmas gift we could possibly ask for.


The Tragedy of Macbeth will release simultaneously in theaters and on Apple TV+ on December 25. Try not to break a leg before it drops!

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