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Hollywood star heads for Skye to shoot Macbeth

THE dramatic landscape of Skye is providing the stage for the latest big screen version of Shakespeare's Scottish play.

MISTY ISLE: Justin Kurzel is making the newest film version of Macbeth in Skye; eschewing a modern retelling of the play and opting to set the play in war-torn 11th-century Scotland.
MISTY ISLE: Justin Kurzel is making the newest film version of Macbeth in Skye; eschewing a modern retelling of the play and opting to set the play in war-torn 11th-century Scotland.

The new cinematic version of Macbeth stars Michael Fassbender in the title role and is being directed by Justin Kurzel.

Marion Cotillard, an Oscar-winning French actress, plays the role of Lady Macbeth.

Scottish arts funding body, Creative Scotland, awarded £200,000 towards the film's production.

As well as Skye, the film, which, like the play, is set in medieval Scotland, will shoot scenes in England.

The film, being made by StudioCanal and Film4, also stars Paddy Considine, David Thewlis, Sean Harris and Elizabeth Debicki.

Unlike more modern retellings of the tale, however, the new version is set in war-torn 11th-century Scotland.

Cotillard replaced Natalie Portman in the production in August last year.

Jacob Koskoff and Todd Louiso have written the script based on the play.

A statement from Studio-Canal said the film would be "a thrilling interpretation of the dramatic realities of the times and a truthful reimagining of what wartime must have been like for one of Shakespeare's most famous and compelling characters".

The film is being produced by See Saw, the company behind Shame and The King's Speech.

Last year, Tessa Ross, head of Film4, described Kurzel as "an exceptional director". Kurzel previously directed Snowtown, a low budget horror film.

Ms Ross said she was very excited at the "prospect of his visceral and urgent work" along with the extraordinary cast.

Fassbender, 36, has become one of the film world's biggest stars and is in the running for an Oscar for his role in the acclaimed drama 12 Years a Slave.

Raised in Ireland, he came to prominence in Steve McQueen's film Hunger, about the hunger striker Bobby Sands, played by Fassbender.

He also starred in Prometheus, parts of which were also filmed on Skye.

Other notable versions of Macbeth include those directed by Orson Welles in 1948, Roman Polanski in 1971 and Geoffrey Wright in 2006, which was set in a modern-day gangster setting.

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