EXCLUSIVE: Portman to play Lady Macbeth opposite Michael Fassbender in See-Saw production.
It is due to shoot later in 2013.
Screen understands that Portman has long wanted to take on the role, previously considering stage versions, and that the actress was keen to renew her collaboration with Fassbender after the two recently wrapped production on Terrence Malick’s latest film about the Texas music scene.
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Snowtown’s Justin Kurzel will direct the update of Shakespeare’s classic thriller produced by The King’s Speech and Shame producers See-Saw. Writers are Todd Louiso and Jacob Koskoff.
The script has been one of the most in-demand ahead of the Cannes Film Festival with a number of sales outfits keen to work on the film.
Development and production backing on the UK-Australian co-production comes from Film4.
The production sees Fassbender reunited with Shame producers Iain Canning and Emile Sherman and Film4, with whom the actor worked on Hunger, Shame and the upcoming Frank.
The new take on Shakespeare’s classic - about a ruthlessly ambitious Scottish lord who siezes the throne with the help of his scheming wife and three witches - is set in the 11th century and in the original language.
The script is understood to be a visceral approach to the story including significant battle scenes.
Portman will next be seen in superhero sequel Thor: The Dark World and she is currently shooting Jane Got a Gun, which previously had Fassbender on board. The actress is represented by Brillstein Entertainment and CAA.
The play has been recently staged in London’s West End starring James McAvoy, who was nominated for an Olivier Award for his turn. Famous film versions include Roman Polanski’s 1971 version and Orson Welles’ from 1948.
Actor-director Louiso, whose acting credits include High Fidelity and Jerry Maguire, has been twice-nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance - as director of 2002 comedy-drama Love Liza starring Philip Seymour Hoffman and Kathy Bates; and in 2012 for comedy-romance Hello I Must Be Going.
Louiso and Koskoff collaborated as writer-director and writer, respectively, on 2009 Paramount Vantage comedy-drama The Marc Pease Experience starring Jason Schwartzman, Ben Stiller and Anna Kendrick.
The in-demand Kurzel is also attached to direct John Le Carre thriller Our Kind of Traitor, which was due to shoot later this year.