Joel Coen Shot 'The Tragedy of Macbeth,' Starring Denzel Washington And Frances McDormand, In Black And White

It’s been quite a while since we last heard any updates on Joel Coen‘s first movie without brother Ethan, “The Tragedy of Macbeth,” but we’re finally getting some news, and it will have cinephiles very excited.

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In a recent episode of cinematographer Roger Deakins‘ podcast, Team Deakins, costume designer Mary Zophres revealed that cinematographer Bruno Delbonnel shot “The Tragedy of Macbeth” entirely in black and white. While Zophres has worked with the Coens on all their films since “Fargo,” Delbonnel will be reteaming with Joel Coen after working on “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs” and “Inside Llewyn Davis.”

Of course, this isn’t the first time the Coens have worked in black and white, having shot “The Man Who Wasn’t There” in that format back in 2001, but according to Zophres, it’s been easier for her to work with black and white thanks to more day-to-day technology like using the noir setting on her iPhone to approximate how her costumes would work in the format.

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Early last year, Frances McDormand teased the project and how different it will be from what we know of the Scottish play. “I think a very important thing about Joel’s adaptation is that we are not calling it ‘Macbeth,'” McDormand said, referring to the title emphasising the tragedy of the story. “Both [Denzel Washington] and I are older than what is often cast as the Macbeths. We’re postmenopausal, we’re past childbearing age. So that puts a pressure on their ambition to have the crown. I think the most important distinction is that it is their last chance for glory.”