Terrence Howard, Sanaa Lathan and Harry Lennix are all set to star in a new film version of William Shakespeare’s Macbeth, set to start pre-production in Sept. 2013 on location in Jamaica and Puerto Rico.
The film, to be titled Macbett, will also star Blair Underwood and Evan Ross and is written and directed by Aleta Chappelle, who is the first Amercan-American woman to direct a film version of a Shakespeare play.
Howard not only plays the lead in the film, but is also the executive producer, along with producers Re’Shaun Frear and Kip Konwiser.
As the filmmakers describe their new take on the play: “after a gallant military victory, General Macbett (Howard) encounters the “Weird Sisters,” who are the spirit daughters of Mother Africa
and reign over fire, water, earth and sky. They delight in manipulating Macbett
by feeding him predictions of royal titles including “King.” Macbett soon
becomes obsessed with ambition, as does his beautiful and ruthless wife Lady
Macbett (Lathan) .
“As Macbett and his Lady spiral downward, indulging in treachery and
political assassinations, they are soon haunted by their murderous deeds and
driven mad. In a true exemplification of a tragedy, Macbett is defeated by his
own zealous thirst for power, a heartbreaking end to a once beloved Hero”.
Though this is the first film of a black version of Macbeth, it is not the first time this has been done. Back in the 1936 Orson Welles, a few years before he directed his film Citizen Kane, directed a black stage version in New York set in Haiti, called Voodoo Macbeth which caused a sensation back in its day.