A retelling of Shakespeare's Macbeth, set in the present-day violent underbelly of Melbourne,took a step closer to getting a green light with Romper Stomper director Geoffrey Wright at the helm.

M, as it istitled, was the only feature to get production funding as part of a $787,000(A$1m) package of support handed out to filmmakers, productions and film eventsby state agency Film Victoria.

Producer Martin Fabinyi of Mushroom Pictures now intends toapply for investment from Film Finance Corporation Australia.

Wright adapted the original with writer/actor Victoria Hill,while Sam Worthington (pictured), the male lead from this year's criticalAustralian hit Somersault, is slatedto star in the film. Michael Gudinski, who owns Mushroom alongside Fabinyi, andMelbourne lawyer Greg Sitch, are likely to take executive producer credits.

"I'd call it RomperStomper meets Shakespeare," said Fabinyi. "The original(Shakespeare) text is used in the script but it will be performed in a gangsterrap style. The film is inspired by the extraordinary violence that hasparticularly erupted in the last few years and it is about power, revenge andgangs. The similarity between it and Macbethare striking, as is the complexity of the situation."

M is likely to bea Mushroom-only production, unlike Chopperand Gettin' Square, which were jointventures with other production entities. Mushroom is also working with PhilNoyce and his production company Rumbalara on the adaptation of the Tim Wintonnovel Dirt Music. Wright also directedMetal Skin and Cherry Falls.