Cannes: StudioCanal Boards 'Macbeth'

Michael Fassbender Natalie Portman Split - H 2013
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Michael Fassbender Natalie Portman Split - H 2013

Michael Fassbender and Natalie Portman star in the modern-day Shakepeare adaptation from director Justin Kurzel.

StudioCanal has boarded Macbeth, the Shakespeare adaptation for director Justin Kurzel (Snowtown) starring Michael Fassbender as the doomed Scottish king and Natalie Portman as Lady Macbeth. Kurzel's version is described as modern take on the tale of a fearless warrior ultimately destroyed by ambition and desire.

StudioCanal will co-finance the feature, which British shingle See-Saw Films is producing. Preproduction is set to start at the end of the year for a planned January shoot.

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StudioCanal will distribute Macbeth in the U.K., Germany and France and will handle international sales duties, shopping the title to buyers in Cannes next week.

Iain Canning and Emile Sherman of See-Saw, whose credits include the Oscar-winning The King's Speech, will produce. See-Saw developed the project with Film4, which is also a financier on Macbeth.

“We are very pleased to be financing Macbeth, which deftly brings contemporary themes to an iconic story," said Olivier Courson, chairman and CEO of StudioCanal.

“StudioCanal and FILM4 are the perfect partners for us on Macbeth, having responded so quickly and passionately to the material," added Canning and Sherman in a statement. "Like us, they are committed to Justin Kurzel's energetic and modern-themed take on a timeless story. With Michael Fassbender and Natalie Portman, we have two of the finest actors of their generation, playing two of the most celebrated roles of all time. We couldn't be more excited."

With its A-list cast and Oscar-winning pedigree, Macbeth is certain to be a hot title at the Marché du Film, which kicks off Wednesday in Cannes.