Michael Fassbender, in his relatively short career, has played many roles -- he's been a robot in Ridley Scott's "Prometheus," an ancient soldier in "300," a cruel plantation owner in "12 Years a Slave," a film critic spy in "Inglourious Basterds," Carl Jung in "Dangerous Method," and an evil super-powered mutant in "X-Men: First Class" (and next month's "X-Men: Days of Future Past"). But he's about to get positively Shakespearean in next year's "Macbeth," playing the title character for Australian filmmaker Justin Kurzel. And The Daily Mail has the very first photos.
According to Fassbender, who costars alongside Marion Cotillard as Lady Macbeth, Sean Harris as Macduff and Paddy Considine as Banquo, he's got his character all figured out. "He's suffering from post traumatic stress disorder," Fassbender told The Daily Mail. "It makes total sense, when you think about it. Justin set the seed of the idea in my head. 'This trauma is something we know about. In World War I they called it battle fatigue, and it was probably more horrific in Macbeth's days, when they were killing with their bare hands, and driving a blade through bodies. He's having these hallucinations, and he needs to return to the violence to find some sort of clarity, or peace."
There is certainly a fair amount of intensity in the two photos the Mail published. In the first, Fassbender has his hands wrapped around Cotillard (referred to as "Lady M" in the movie) while candles burn brilliantly around them. In the other photo Macbeth, his face pained in Celtic shapes, stands on a bloody battlefield. This new "Macbeth" is going to be awesome.
While there hasn't been a US release date announced, the piece states that an early 2015 date is expected for England. (We shouldn't be far behind.) This is slated to be the big breakout movie for Kurzel, whose unrelentingly bleak "Snowtown" (released here as "The Snowtown Murders") was shocking and exquisitely crafted. We can't wait to see Fassbender get medieval on some people... literally.
Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images