Hail Macbeth! Michael Fassbender shines as the kingslayer in visceral new trailer

If it weren’t for what happened a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, Macbeth might just be the most-anticipated movie of the Holiday season. Ever since the teaser for the film dropped at the Cannes Film Festival back in May, movie fans have been waiting for Justin Kurzel’s Shakespearean adaptation with bated breath.

With the exception of these bad-ass posters, however, there was little more revealed about the film over the last few months. Thankfully, that changed today.

Earlier this morning, Weinstein & Co. dropped the first “official” trailer (embedded above) on us and — even though it’s somehow shorter than the first “teaser” trailer — it’s epic with a capital E.

The trailer opens as Fassbender, flanked by a fearsome army, charges at the camera. We quickly cut to wide shot of a massive battle and we here a chorus cry “Hail Macbeth! Hail Macbeth! Hail Macbeth!” That eerie chant comes and goes throughout the 1 minute 41 second spot as we see the titular king doing battle, (spoiler alert if you slept through high-school English) killing his predecessor, and breaking down from the weight of his ambitions and misdeeds.

Dramatic drum beats begin to sync up with the cuts as we get an idea of the scope and gravitas of Kurzel’s retelling of this iconic story. “O, full of scorpions is my mind” says Macbeth to his wife at one point, as the lady (Marion Cotillard) coldly replies “what’s done is done.” Those familiar with the play know that sort of back and forth is typical of the two and, while his lust for power is dangerous, hers is unquenchable as she steers him towards the throne masterfully and remorselessly.

The trailer is an achievement in and of itself, and plunges the viewer deep into an ancient world, while still feeling modern and fresh. We’ll need to see the finished project before we can pass judgement, but that 92 percent rating on the Tomatometer over at Rotten Tomatoes speaks volumes.

 Macbeth is set to hit theaters sometime in December, with the exact date still to be determined. If the film is as the trailer suggests, however, we’ll be talking about Kurzel, Cotillard, and Fassbender this time next year as well. The trio is currently working on a film adaptation of the popular Assassin’s Creed video game series, which is being positioned for a December 2016 release.

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