Joel Coen’s ‘Tragedy of Macbeth’ to close London Film Festival

The film stars Denzel Washington and Frances McDormand

Joel Coen’s new feature The Tragedy of Macbeth has been announced as the Closing Night Gala of this year’s London Film Festival.

The film, an adaptation of the Shakespeare classic starring Frances McDormand and Denzel Washington, marks the first time Joel Coen is working without his brother and regular collaborator Ethan.

The European Premiere will take place on October 17 at the Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall, while simultaneous preview screenings will take place in LFF partner venues across the UK.

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Coen, who wrote, directed and produced the film, said in a statement: “Shakespeare belongs to the world but comes from Britain. Having borrowed your cultural patrimony, and having had the great good luck to work with a few of your most brilliant actors, I’m honoured to bring this movie to the London Film Festival for its European premiere.”

Frances McDormand and Joel Coen
Frances McDormand and Joel Coen. CREDIT: Michael Kovac/Getty Images

BFI London Film Festival Director Tricia Tuttle called The Tragedy of Macbeth a “stunning production”, adding: “So many of us missed the big screen experience last year, and this a perfect celebration of this art form that’s built on ancient traditions of storytelling but with truly magical powers to convey intimacy and awesome scale and spectacle.”

Coen’s film will be joining the Netflix Western The Harder They Fall in the LFF lineup, as the Idris Elba-starring feature will be opening the festival.

The film, directed by London-born filmmaker Jeymes Samuel, stars Jonathan Majors, Zazie Beetz, Delroy Lindo, LaKeith Stanfield, Danielle Deadwyler, Edi Gathegi, R.J. Cyler, Damon Wayans Jr. and Deon Cole with Regina King and Elba.

Meanwhile, long-time Coen Brothers composer Carter Burwell recently claimed that Joel and Ethan Coen might never make another film together.

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“Ethan just didn’t want to make movies anymore,” Burwell said. “Ethan seems very happy doing what he’s doing, and I’m not sure what Joel will do after this.”

He continued: “They also have a ton of scripts they’ve written together that are sitting on various shelves. I hope maybe they get back to those.

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