As it turns out, Natalie Portman is no longer attached to be the female lead in "Macbeth". The Hollywood Reporter learns that the Nina Sayers of "Black Swan" has been replaced by another Oscar winner Marion Cotillard in the feature version of the William Shakespeare tragedy from StudioCanal and Film4.
French beauty Cotillard will then be paired with Michael Fassbender, who was cast in late April. Directed by Justin Kurzel, the adaptation is set in the 11th century and centers on a ruthlessly ambitious Scottish lord named Macbeth, who seizes the throne with the help of his scheming wife and three witches.
The new take on the classic tale will retain the original setting and dialogue, taking a "visceral approach to the story including significant battle scenes." Kurzel will direct from a script by Todd Louiso and Jacob Koskoff. A duo behind the Oscar-winning "The King's Speech", Iain Canning and Emile Sherman, will produce.
The project is scheduled to start shooting in the U.K. in January 2014. The pre-production, meanwhile, is slated for the end of the year.
Cotillard, best known for her portrayal of singer Edith Piaf in "La Vie en Rose", will next be seen in "Blood Ties". In the film directed by her partner Guillaume Canet, she stars alongside Mila Kunis, Clive Owen and Zoe Saldana.