Shakespeare's getting the movie treatment again. The lucky Bard.
This time it's the ever-popular Macbeth
being shoved through the
adaptation wringer once more, with The Jacket's John Maybury
directing Vincent Regan's script Come Like Shadows.
Sean Bean who last played the
bloodied Scot in a stage run three
years ago is the lead, with Narnia's Tilda Swinton stepping
the role of Lady Macbeth. According to Variety, the film will
period setting, but will be accessible to modern audiences.
"Shadows" Descend On Bean & Swinton
Posted: Wednesday June 28th 2006 1:37am
Source: Production Weekly
Author: Garth Franklin
Sean Bean and Tilda Swinton are set to star in "Come Like
adaptation of Shakespeare's "Macbeth" that is slotted
to shoot in
Scotland in late fall reports Variety.
A traditional period piece designed
for a contemporary audience, John
Maybury ("The Jacket") will direct a script adaptation
Regan. Bean will play Macbeth, a role he essayed in London's
three years ago, and Swinton will play his wife Lady Macbeth.
Steven Soderbergh is aboard as executive
producer. Luc Besson also is
part of the mix, with the film set to use his EuropaCorp
post-production facility in Normandy, France.
Posted Jun 28th 2006 7:04PM by Martha
Filed under: Drama, Independent, Casting, Warner Brothers, Newsstand
Back when the news came out about the cast for the Hitcher remake,
I lamented the fact that Sean Bean has somehow turned into the
foreign guy that Hollywood tends to cast as a heavy in pretty
much anything (either that or he's a really boring, barely-written
token male), a tendency that is very much at odds with both his
early career and a lot of the TV work he does in England. Well,
today comes news that he's been cast in a part that might actually
allow him to, you know, act a little bit -- hooray!
Variety is reporting that Bean and fellow
Brit Tilda Swinton will play the leads in Come Like Shadows,
and independently-financed project being produced by the WB-based
Milk & One Sugar. The film is a version of the Macbeth story
that, while it will be set during an appropriate time, is expected
to be (and this is where things get a little wonky) "user-friendly
to a contemporary audience." God only knows what that means,
but it makes me a little nervous, just because we can handle
Shakespeare that isn't dumbed down, dammit! For Bean, the gig
is a return to Macbeth -- he played the role on stage in London
three years ago.
Both Steven Soderbergh and Luc Besson
are involved in the film as well (the former will executive produce,
and post-production will take place in Besson's EuropaCorp facilities),
which makes it sound like it might be sort of big and shiny and,
just maybe, good. Production begins this fall in Scotland; director
will be John Maybury.
Sean Bean and Tilda Swinton are set
to star in "Come Like Shadows," an adaptation of Shakespeare's
"Macbeth" that is slotted to shoot in Scotland in late
fall. John Maybury ("The Jacket") will direct a script
by Vincent Regan.
Pic is being produced by Nick Saunders,
who is producing through the Milk & One Sugar banner. Though
that shingle is based at Warner Bros., "Come Like Shadows"
was pieced together with independent financing.
Steven Soderbergh is aboard as executive producer. Luc Besson
also is part of the mix, with the film set to use his EuropaCorp
post-production facility in Normandy, France.
Pic is a traditional period piece, but it is designed to be user-friendly
to a contemporary audience. Bean, who's coming off "Silent
Hill" and "North Country," will play Macbeth,
a role he essayed in London's West End three years ago.
Swinton, who was last seen in "The Chronicles of Narnia:
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" and who just wrapped
"Michael Clayton" opposite George Clooney, plays Lady
Macbeth. She previously collaborated with Maybury in the filmed
version of her one-woman show, "Man to Man."
Bean and Swinton made their screen debuts together, playing lovers
in the 1986 film "Caravaggio."
Scotland on Sunday
01 July 2006
Daggers drawn as Hollywood rivals do battle over Macbeth
"DOUBLE, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and cauldron
Four centuries after Shakespeare wrote Macbeth, two rival sets
film-makers are battling to produce a Hollywood version of the
Both have major players in the film world behind them and both
declared similar intentions of appealing to a modern audience
special effects that play up the supernatural elements of the
One version has Oscar-winner Philip Seymour Hoffman as Shakespeare's
tragic Scottish king.
But the other, titled Come Like Shadows, has taken a huge leap
forward in the race with the casting of two major stars. Sean
Bean, star of
the Lord of the Rings trilogy, the James Bond film GoldenEye
Sharpe TV dramas, will play Macbeth.
Tilda Swinton, the Scot whose stock has risen dramatically since
appearing as the witch in The Chronicles of Narnia, will be the
ambitious wife who drives him to murder and ultimately despair.
As well as Bean and Swinton, Come Like Shadows, which has a £5.4m
budget, also has some big names behind the camera.
Steven Soderbergh, the American who directed Erin Brockovich
Ocean's Eleven, is executive producer, and Luc Besson, the French
director of The Fifth Element, is also involved.
John Maybury, whose films include the fantasy thriller The Jacket
the acclaimed Francis Bacon biopic Love is the Devil, will be
Nick Saunders, a Los Angeles-based producer who is currently
UK setting up Come Like Shadows, said: "I'm not worried
anybody else is doing. We've got a John Maybury film with Sean
and Tilda Swinton and I think that stands on its own two feet."
Saunders said the producers would be "putting a spin"
on Macbeth for
a modern audience. "It's not modern dress. It's going to
accessible, but classic interpretation of Macbeth," he said.
Witches, battle scenes and violent action could well appeal to
audience more familiar with Harry Potter and Quentin Tarantino
"The elements of the supernatural are something we definitely
play up," Saunders added. "We're going to take full
advantage of the
visual aspects of film. We are taking the tack that if Shakespeare
were alive today what would he do?"
The dialogue would not be updated, just "scaled back. It's
case of removing certain lines or words where the meaning may
be lost on
the modern ear."
Come Like Shadows, which takes its title from a line in the play,
scheduled to be filmed in Scotland in October.
Although a spokesman for Antidote Films, which is behind the
adaptation, said their project was still very much alive, he
there was no firm timetable.
Belle Doyle, head of the locations section at the national film
agency Scottish Screen, confirmed it had received active inquiries
sets of film-makers.
"It's such a good story that it's one of those things that
popping up in all sorts of guises," she said.
Macbeth has been adapted for film and television on dozens of
previous occasions, often in a foreign language or with an entirely
setting. Orson Welles, Akira Kurosawa and Roman Polanski have
made esteemed versions, but Saunders maintains the time is right
major new production.
"Every generation really needs its version of some of the
and I think Macbeth is one of those kind of stories," he
Vincent Regan, a Welsh actor with a passion for Shakespeare,
his script in the late 1990s and linked up with Besson when he
in a minor role in his film of Joan of Arc.
It got a new lease of life in 2003 when Regan appeared in the
Troy and met both Saunders and Bean. The latter had recently
Macbeth on the West End stage and was keen to reprise the role
Saunders signed up as producer at the end of last year and approached
director Maybury, whose initial reaction was "one of absolute
because of the distinguished previous versions.
For the role of Lady Macbeth he thought of Swinton, with whom
worked on several films. He phoned her and she confirmed that
would be interested.
Swinton's agent Christian Hodell said the actress loved Shakespeare
and she was attracted by the challenge of the role, the chance
work with Maybury again and to work close to home in Scotland.
Maybury, who with Saunders will begin casting supporting roles
week, admitted he would be taking "liberties" with
the text to
emphasise the supernatural elements.
"It's not going to be specifically targeted to Shakespearean
aficionados," he said. "In fact I'm sure there will
be a lot of them
who will oppose what I'm trying to do."
The outline is similar to the version envisaged by Antidote Films,
which has previously produced a number of acclaimed independent
productions, including Thirteen with Holly Hunter and Evan Rachel
They are promising a "visceral adaptation... that emphasises
potently cinematic aspects of the drama".
Seymour Hoffman was committed to starring in their version before
winning his Oscar for Capote earlier this year. The award makes
film more alluring to financiers, but it also makes the star
attractive to other producers and he is committed to another
in the autumn. Jennifer Connelly was lined up to play Lady Macbeth
but it is not clear whether she is still involved.
Maybury said he was unconcerned by a rival version, which is
uncommon when producing classics. "It's like buses - none
and then three come along at the same time," he said. "Philip
Hoffman is a big name and he's a very good actor, but it doesn't
bother me. If it's a running race, at the moment, we are in the
THE SCOTTISH PLAY: FROM JAPANESE CLASSICS TO BINMEN
THERE have been dozens, if not hundreds, of film and TV adaptations
of Macbeth, many of them in foreign languages or with exotic
for Macbeth has proven one of Shakespeare's most adaptable stories.
The most celebrated version is probably Japanese director Akira
Kurosawa's 1957 film Throne Of Blood.
Around the same time, the British film Joe Macbeth re-told the
with the principal character recast as a gangster. Lady Macbeth
now Lily Macbeth and Banquo was Banky, with Sid James in the
Just last year a BBC TV production relocated the drama in an
restaurant, with Vincent Regan (who has written the script for
new film with Bean and Swinton) as owner Duncan Docherty, James
his ambitious chef, another Joe Macbeth, and the three witches
replaced by three binmen.
Alluding to the theatrical superstition that prohibits mention
play's title, one character is castigated for referring to Gordon
Ramsay by name and told he should be referred to only as "the
The earliest films of Macbeth date from the silent era. Orson
staged a voodoo theatre production in Harlem in 1936 and later
comparatively conventional film version on the lot at Republic,
although he had to use sets normally used for Westerns.
Roman Polanski's 1971 version is famous for its violence, its
sleepwalking scene by Francesca Annis and the appearance of a
Keith Chegwin as Fleance.
Guardian Unlimited, Thu, 29 Jun 2006
2:23 AM PDT
Bean and Swinton lead 'user-friendly' Macbeth
Continuing cinema's perennial fascination with Shakespeare, a
new adaptation of Macbeth is in the works, according to Variety.
Following versions from such film-makers
as Orson Welles and Roman Polanski, the latest adaptation will
star Sean Bean as the power-hungry Thane of Cawdor, and Tilda
Swinton as his even more ruthlessly ambitious wife.
John Maybury (Love is the Devil) will
direct from a script by Vincent Regan, which - suggesting there
will be some departures from the original script - is entitled
Come Like Shadows. In a statement that may cause some alarm to
Shakespeareans, the producers promise a movie that's "user-friendly
to a contemporary audience".
Steven Soderbergh will be involved as an executive producer of
the independently-financed project from Milk & One Sugar.
Bean, who is currently filming a remake
of the Rutger Hauer chiller The Hitcher and was recently seen
in Silent Hill and Flightplan, has played the murderous monarch
before, in a West End production three years ago. Tilda Swinton,
too, has form for ruthless ruler roles (see her recent outing
as the White Queen in The Chronicles of Narnia).
Come Like Shadows is scheduled to begin
shooting in late autumn.
NEW YORK -- After a decade as a top
indie film production and video distribution outfit, Hart Sharp
Entertainment founders John Hart and Jeffrey Sharp are heading
their separate ways. Hart is forming the new film and theater
production company Evamere.
Evamere will launch production on two
films this year: Todd Solondz's dark comedy of sexual obsession,
"Life During Wartime," and the James Solomon-penned
biopic of a woman involved in the Abraham Lincoln assassination,
Other new projects include "Alice
Goes to Harlem," a potential animated feature that finds
Alice in Wonderland meeting such artists as the Nicholas Brothers
and Whoopi Goldberg on a journey celebrating the Harlem Renaissance.
Geoffrey Holder and Hilton Als are in talks to write the screenplay.
Also set for 2008 is "Come Like Shadows," a surreal
period adaptation of "Macbeth," with John Maybury in
negotiations to direct.
Hart will oversee management of the
company's existing private-equity funds, True Film Fund I and
II, which will continue to finance Hart Sharp projects that Hart
will now produce. These include "Revolutionary Road,"
a BBC Films co-production based on Richard Yates' novel, and
Tommy O'Haver's adaptation of Ed Wintle's "Auntie Mame"-style
memoir "Breakfast With Tiffany."
Hart will shepherd his former company's
library of 15 films, which includes "Boys Don't Cry,"
"The Night Listener," "Proof" and "Nicholas
Nickleby." He said he plans to work with Sloss Law founder
John Sloss to sell the company's 110-plus Hart Sharp Video catalog
to an outside buyer or pass it on to one or more of his fellow
Hart Sharp principals -- Sharp, Michael Hogan and Robert Kessel.
Sharp is producing Hart Sharp's final
film, Lajos Koltai's "Evening," for Focus Features.
Writer Michael Cunningham's adaptation of Susan Minot's novel
stars Meryl Streep, Glenn Close, Toni Collette, Claire Danes,
Natasha Richardson and Patrick Wilson. Kessell was hired last
month as executive vp production and acquisitions at Overture
"Jeff and I always focused on two
different sides of the company," Hart said. "Jeff was
focused on production, and I felt my role was to promote production
by expanding into video and ultimately distribution." Neither
felt interested in continuing the video business, Hart added,
which was one reason for the company's dissolution.
Hart plans to seek out a distribution
deal for Evamere's films and expand on his Broadway producing,
which has included such musical revivals as "Chicago,"
"Guys and Dolls" and "The Who's Tommy.
Hart, Sharp part company
Indie outfit founders move on
By DADE HAYES
After a 10-year run yielding films such
as "You Can Count on Me," the video releases of pics
including "Super Size Me" and Broadway shows including
"Chicago," indie outfit Hart Sharp has officially shuttered.
The end, which had been expected for
many months, was announced Wednesday by co-founder John Hart.
He also unveiled his next venture, a more scaled-down film and
theater outfit called Evamere. Jeffrey Sharp is also understood
to be forming a production company.
Describing Evamere as director-friendly,
Hart said one of its projects would be Todd Solondz's next film,
"Life During Wartime." The company is also developing
pics "Alice Goes to Harlem," from scripters Geoffrey
Holder and Hilton Als; James Solomon's "The Conspirator";
and "Macbeth" adaptation "Come Like Shadows,"
by Nick Saunders and Jennifer Lee Carrell.
The new shingle will not have a video
arm. Hart Sharp Video has contributed tens of millions in annual
revenue recently. John Sloss' Cinetic Media has been brought
in to solicit bids for the video division.
Hart will continue to play a management
role in Hart Sharp library titles and private equity funds.
In the split, some projects will be
taken over by Hart or Sharp individually. Hart's include "Revolutionary
Road," written by Justin Haythe based on Richard Yates'
novel, which Hart is producing with BBC Films, and "Breakfast
With Tiffany," directed Tommy O'Haver.
Hart's film credits include "Boys
Don't Cry," "You Can Count on Me," "Proof"
and "The Night Listener." He also produced stage revivals
of "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying,"
"Guys and Dolls" and "The Who's Tommy."
Focus Features will release Hart Sharp's
"Evening," a Michael Cunningham-penned drama starring
Vanessa Redgrave, Meryl Streep and Claire Danes, on June 15.