It’s been more than two months since solo director Joel Coen (splitting from brother Ethan for this project) unveiled his Shakespeare adaptation “The Tragedy of Macbeth” as the opening night selection of the New York Film Festival. Finally, it’s coming to theaters on Christmas Day, followed by streaming on Apple TV+ January 14, with Apple and A24 hoping to break late into the Oscar race. With photography by Oscar nominee Bruno Delbonnel (“Darkest Hour,” “Amelie”) in glorious black-and-white, the film is an immaculate production that should easily score a number of nominations. Ahead of the film’s release, watch the latest trailer below. The film co-stars Frances McDormand, Corey Hawkins, Brendan Gleeson, and Harry Melling.
As “Tragedy of Macbeth” is both a theatrical and streaming release, the question inevitably arose at the New York Film Festival over what Joel Coen thinks about his movie being seen by audiences at home, and on a smaller screen. (This visually engulfing Shakespeare epic deserves to be seen on the big screen.)
“As a filmmaker you want your audience to see your film on the best, biggest screen possible. The worst nightmare as a filmmaker is that someone watched your film on an airplane,” Coen said.
“When I first got into the movie business — it’s been almost 40 years ago — the reason I was able to make movies with Ethan [Coen], the reason we were able to have a career is because the studios at that point had an ancillary market that was a backstop for more risky films, which were VHS cassettes or all these home video markets, which is essentially television,” said Coen, whose indie directorial debut, 1984’s “Blood Simple” with brother Ethan, premiered at the New York Film Festival.
“So the fact that those markets are sort of responsible for my career, I’m not going to bust on them now because they’ve become very successful and are overtaking the market. It’s the reason I’m able to do this stuff,” said Coen, whose last film “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs” was also a streaming release on Netflix in 2018.
“I have mixed feelings about [streaming] obviously. You want people to see it on a big screen. But the other part of it is that’s been part of the history of our movies since the very beginning. That’s the best answer I can give you.”