Monday, 17 January 2011

Get Baz Luhrmann to Adapt Macbeth!

In 1996, Baz Luhrmann made William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, an updated movie version of the tragic play set in contemporary LA but retaining all the original text. It won an Academy Award for Art Direction, and another 11 other filmmaking awards worldwide. An astounding movie, it firmly defined Luhrmann as a creative heavyweight in Hollywood. The original Shakespeare dialogue was almost totally unchanged, with the plot fully intact. The setting was updated to the gang-ran streets of Venice Beach L.A., which perfectly allowed Luhrmann to present the doomed romance and scenes of devastating violence with spectacular effect.

Let's see Luhrmann bring Shakespeare's darkest play into the twenty-first century. Macbeth, with its power-hungry protagonist, its folklore and its macabre themes of murder, sleep, double-crossings and evil ambition, is ripe for a modern-day update. Keeping the story set in Scotland would be a start, not least to bring some film industry attention to the UK. It would also ensure that, visually, it would not mirror R&J. There is no way that, with a British setting, Luhrmann would be going through the directorial motions to make this film. Macbeth would be original, modern and distinctly Scottish- as Shakespeare’s play was, no doubt, on its original release.
Similarly to Luhrmann’s Romeo and Juliet- the violence would have to be presented under the guise of gang warfare for believability reasons (the play pretty much opens on the battlefield and many of the characters die in violent ways) and the prophesying witches may have to become astrology-obsessed eastern-European gypsies (fairly believable by today’s standards, yes?)
Just writing this is making me enthusiastic. Hell, I might go and read the Letts notes tonight. If you’re equally fired, join me on this venture. If you’re not familiar, you’ll be in for a treat when this all works out.
I’ve set up a Facebook group here:!/group.php?gid=210873543996
If the people of Facebook can get Rage Against the Machine to beat X-Factor’s morbid output to a Christmas number one chart position, then there’s no reason that we can’t shape this future movie classic- starting right here on this website.
Join today- and pass this message on until it reaches Mr. Luhrmann himself!

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