A truly bizarre-sounding "futuristic" adaptation of Macbeth is stuck in post-production, as the filmmakers wait for Anthony Stewart Head, who plays Duncan, to return for reshoots.
During a conference call promoting his new series Merlin, the shooting schedule for which is preventing him from doing any more work on Macbeth, Head seemed slightly passive-aggressive as he explained where the project stands:
"That last I heard of it, somebody called me who was editing it and said, 'We've got a few issues with various things that might need re-shooting. And I thought, 'Well, you kind of had me when you had me. I'm shooting in France. I can't really do it.' So I don't know what's going on with that, but there were just a few issues of things differing from one scene to another. What I saw and what I was in was great, and I sincerely hope it will get some kind of release."
The movie itself sounds gloriously weird. This particular Macbeth apparently started as an amateur film project before they managed to snag Anthony Stewart Head to play Duncan, and it involves gang warfare in a futuristic setting. The movie will retain the original Shakespearean dialogue, but apparently the radically different context has caused some changes, as one might reasonably expect.
Director Nicholas Paton, who adapted the play with Fergus March (who also plays the title role), provided a tantalizing description of Head's role way back in 2006:
"Tony plays Duncan as a spitting, cigar-chomping criminal leader, with a soft Glaswegian accent that can turn in an instant from warm and affectionate to fatally menacing. As Duncan he plays a pivotal role in the film - he is both Macbeth's boss and paternal figure, whom Macbeth is driven to murder by his own uncontrollable ambition. The murder of Duncan reflects the loss of the last of the old-school gangsters as a new generation rise to power, a generation without the same moral sensibilities and rules of conduct as Duncan's - much as Brando's Don Corleone is ousted by a younger more reckless generation in The Godfather."
Head's description of how he saw the role, on the other hand, is completely befuddling and only makes me want to see this movie all the more: "Basically I play Duncan as a used-car salesman." I have absolutely no idea how a combination of Macbeth, gangs, and the future could lead Anthony Stewart Head to see the King of Scotland as a used car salesman, but consider me officially intrigued.