‘The Tragedy of Macbeth’ trailer promises something wicked is on its way

The Tragedy of Macbeth Denzel Washington
(Image credit: A24)

Denzel Washington, Frances McDormand and Joel Coen do Shakespeare in The Tragedy of Macbeth, an adaptation of one of the bard’s most famous plays. A24, who is behind the film with Apple TV Plus, has released the first trailer for the film, giving just a whetting of movie fans’ appetites.

The Tragedy of Macbeth is the story of the Scottish Lord Macbeth, who is told by three witches that he will become the next king. Along with his wife, he puts a plan into motion to realize this prophecy.

Joel Coen makes up half of the famed directing duo the Coen Brothers. Initially, Joel Coen was the lone director credit on all of their movies, though that was mostly a technical thing with the Directors Guild. Even though Ethan’s name didn’t appear alongside his brother as director until 2004’s The Ladykillers, they always worked as a duo. The Tragedy of Macbeth, however, marks the first time in their career that Ethan is not involved in any capacity.

But it will still be a family affair in the sense that three-time Oscar-winner Frances McDormand, who is married to Joel Coen, will star in the film in the iconic role of Lady Macbeth. Adding to the excitement is that Denzel Washington will play Macbeth, marking the first time one of the best actors of all-time will work with Joel Coen.

Additional cast members include Brendan Gleason, Corey Hawkins, Harry Melling, Ralph Ineson, Stephen Root, Moses Ingram and Bertie Carvel.

The trailer, which you can watch below, is just a tease of what’s to come. It provides a first look at the black-and-white cinematography that Joel Coen opted for, provides our first look at Washington and McDormand in their roles, and with the only line of dialogue being the beginning of the prophecy from the witches, promising that “something wicked this way comes.”

The Tragedy of Macbeth is getting a Christmas Day (Dec. 25) release in movie theaters before it will make its streaming debut on Apple TV Plus three weeks later on Jan. 14, 2022. To stream the movie, you will need a subscription to Apple TV Plus, which costs $4.99 per month, though a seven-day free trial is available for new subscribers and a three-month free trial is available to consumers who purchase a new Apple product. 

This is just one of the major films that will arrive on Apple TV Plus over the next few months, with others including the Tom Hanks’ film Finch and the Mahershala Ali-led Swan Song

Michael Balderston

Michael Balderston is a DC-based entertainment and assistant managing editor for What to Watch, who has previously written about the TV and movies with TV Technology, Awards Circuit and regional publications. Spending most of his time watching new movies at the theater or classics on TCM, some of Michael's favorite movies include Casablanca, Moulin Rouge!, Silence of the Lambs, Children of Men, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest and Star Wars. On the TV side he enjoys Only Murders in the Building, Yellowstone, The Boys, Game of Thrones and is always up for a Seinfeld rerun. Follow on Letterboxd.