How does Joel Coen feel about ‘The Tragedy of Macbeth?’

A semi-satirical look into what Joel Coen thinks of his first solo film.

The Tragedy of Macbeth is available for streaming on Apple TV+.

Jack Harris

“The Tragedy of Macbeth” is available for streaming on Apple TV+.

So, you’ve decided to remake Macbeth. This will only be, what, the 26th film adaptation? I mean, the most famous undertakings of the story have been from Orson Welles, R*man P*lanski, and Shakespeare, so maybe a fresh, modern version would be nice. And you. You’re Joel Coen. You’ve won four Oscars and directed 19 films, all while managing to amass a cult following so large it’s now considered mainstream. Well, you and Ethan that is. You’re the Coen brothers. But Ethan says he’s retired now. After 35 years of making movies together, the Coen brothers are no more. What now?

To show how different you are, now that you’re a solo director, you’ll make a movie completely unlike anything you’ve done before. Gone are the days of dark comedy, side characters, and convoluted plots. Now your films are black and white, have a 1:1 aspect ratio, and dialogue that you didn’t even write. Although it should be known, despite not writing the dialogue, this film is still your baby. 

You’re Joel Coen. You’ve won four Oscars and directed 19 films, all while managing to amass a cult following so large it’s now considered mainstream.”

Ethan was always so unserious. He wanted to make comedies and thought that Shakespearean noir was boring. Well now, you can make real cinema. Cinema that reflects you. Every last detail in this film will scream your name and your praises. This is “The Tragedy of Macbeth,” by Joel Coen.

The one part of the film you can’t change is, obviously, the famous celebrities. However, you’ll tone it down a little, and maybe only have a couple of stars. This is a Joel Coen film after all. You’ll have Denzel Washington as the titular character, and Frances McDormand as Lady Macbeth. You’ll also give for smaller performers to shine. You’re amazing at finding hidden talent and bringing out the best in your actors, so it’s only natural some of them will shine.

You found Kathryn Hunter for the role of the witches, and she offers the best ever interpretation of the role. She steals every one of her scenes, always being complimented by the cinematography.

Every last detail in this film will scream your name and your praises.”

That’s why you did it, right? You went off and made your own movie and remade Macbeth and made it in black and white, all because you wanted to play with cameras. You wanted to create long shadows and blinding lights because it was cool. Well, you’re right. It’s very cool.

Yes, you’ve done well. “The Tragedy of Macbeth” is being well received. Your fans love it. There have even been rumors of Oscar hype surrounding your name. You did it all on your own. Without Ethan, you managed to win everyone over. 

Where is Ethan by the way? If he’s not helping you with this film he must be off working on something else. What’s he got planned? He’s writing plays now? Hmmmmmm. He’d better not get any ideas. You’re the Coen now. Or are you?