9:30 AM EDT, August 21, 2013
French star Marion Cotillard, who won an Oscar for her performance in Edith-Piaf biopic "La Vie en Rose," is set to take the leading role in Justin Kurzel's "Macbeth." She replaces Natalie Portman who was announced for the part at Cannes.
Cotillard will play opposite Michael Fassbender ("Shame").
One of Shakespeare's most famous characters, "Macbeth" is the story of a fearless warrior and inspiring leader, set amid the war-torn 11th Century Scotland.
The romance-filled epic is produced by Iain Canning and Emile Sherman at See-Saw Films. The pair's production credits include Oscar-winning "The King's Speech" and "Shame."
"Cotillard has proven extraordinary versatility through her stunning performances in 'La Vie en Rose' and 'Rust and Bone.' Casting her as Lady Macbeth alongside Michael Fassbender will bring a fresh and exciting dynamic to the story of lovers pulled apart by war and ambition," said Canning.
Added Kurzel, "(Cotillard) is one of the bravest and most compelling actors I have watched in recent years and I cannot wait to collaborate with both her and Michael in bringing to screen this very human and tragic love story."
Developped by See-Saw and FILM4, the pic will go into pre-production at the end of the year. Lensing will begin in January, in the U.K.. Studiocanal, which is "Macbeth"'s majority-financier , along with FILM4, will distribute the film in the U.K., France and Germany; and will handle international sales.
Cotillard is currently shooting Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne's drama "Two Days, One Night." She will likely follow up "Macbeth" with another auteur-driven period drama, Benoit Jacquot's Diary of a Chambermaid" (Le Journal d'une femme de chambre), based on Octave Mirbeau's classic novel.
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