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Marion Cotillard joins Michael Fassbender's Macbeth

Marion Cotillard in Public Enemies

Story by Jack Foley

MARION Cotillard has been secured to replace Natalie Portman in a new film adaptation of Macbeth starring Michael Fassbender.

The latest film version of the classic Shakespeare text is described as “an energetic and modern themed take on a timeless story”, which is being directed by Australia’s Justin Kurzel.

Shooting is due to start in the UK in January 2014 and is a joint production between StudioCanal and Channel 4.

Kurzel is best known for directing tough Australian thriller Snowtown, about one of Australia’s most notorious serial killers [John Bunting].

He was described by Tessa Ross, Head of Film4, as “an exceptional director”.

She added that she was “very excited” at the “prospect of his visceral and urgent work” along with the “extraordinary” cast.

Producers See Saw, who also brought The King’s Speech to the screen, describe the film as “a thrilling interpretation of the dramatic realities of the times and a truthful re-imagining of what wartime must have really been like for one of Shakespeare’s most famous and compelling characters”.

They added: “[It’s] a story of all-consuming passion and ambition set in war-torn 11th Century Scotland.”

Next story: Clint Eastwood in talks to direct American Sniper