Apple Original Films has struck a deal with A24 on distribution for the Joel Coen-directed Shakespearian dramatic thriller The Tragedy of Macbeth, starring Oscar winners Denzel Washington and Frances McDormand. A24 will give the film a traditional theatrical release in the fourth quarter of 2021, before its global launch on Apple TV+ in early 2022. This news was first reported by Deadline.
This combination of names is one of those ‘good on paper’ that begs for Oscar consideration and early predicting. McDormand just won her third and fourth Oscars for Nomadland – the only woman ever to win for acting and producing in the same year – and Washington is a two-time Oscar winner, in both male acting categories. Coen also has four for both writing and directed that he shares with his brother Ethan. Coen, who adapted the screenplay from Shakespeare, makes his first solo directing outing without his brother.
Washington plays the titular role, and McDormand plays Lady Macbeth. The supporting cast includes Bertie Carvel, Alex Hassell, Corey Hawkins, Kathryn Hunter, Harry Melling and Brendan Gleeson. Coen is joined by his frequent collaborators and previous Oscar nominees Bruno Delbonnel as cinematographer (shooting in black and white and in a 4:3 ratio), costume designer Mary Zophres, and Carter Burwell as composer. Coen also produces, alongside McDormand and Robert Graf.
After its first year of Oscar entries nabbed the newly minted studio nominations this year for sound (Greyhound) and Animated Feature (Wolfwalkers), this deal gives Apple another film for an upcoming slate that includes the Siân Heder-directed Sundance hit CODA, a film that won four awards in its Sundance premiere including the Audience Award and Grand Jury Prize. Apple paid a record-setting $25M for the film, which is set to debut in August. They also just nabbed Finch, starring Tom Hanks, an Amblin Entertainment sci-fi film that was previously called Bios. The film is directed by Miguel Sapochnik and is expected to be released on Apple TV+ later this year with an awards-season qualifying run first. Also on tap is the recently wrapped Swan Song, starring two-time Oscar winner Mahershala Ali and 8-time nominee Glenn Close and directed by Benjamin Cleary, Tetris starring Taron Egerton and directed by Jon S. Baird and The Sky is Everywhere from Josephine Decker and starring Cherry Jones, Jason Segel and Grace Kaufman.