The Tragedy of Macbeth: Another Look At Shakespeare’s Classic And Why We Need It

January 13, 2022

There’s something about revisiting a story you know and love that is truly satisfying. For some, it could be the ever-popular Marvel movies. For others, it could be a book or a video game – fill in the blank as you will. Last month, a Shakespeare classic got a fresh adaptation starring Denzel Washington in the lead role. That timeless story, which we’ll be speaking about today, is none other than The Tragedy of Macbeth. We know the story, and we know it well…but the conversation we’re about to have spans beyond this film, yet is intricately connected to it, as well as the future of all films. 

This Film Is More Than “Another Adaptation”

Now, before you bellyache and go, “come on….not another adaptation”, hear me out. Granted, it wasn’t too long ago we spoke about repackaging and reselling content (or in this case, stories) when we covered Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Pokemon Shining Pearl, but there is a pretty valid argument to be made here. The difference between conversations surrounding the aforementioned topic and The Tragedy of Macbeth is that we’re talking about two different industries. It is pretty safe to say that the gaming industry has been booming, the pandemic playing a large part in that. Just to give you an idea, an article from the Washington Post reads that just for Microsoft alone, the company “reported a 130-percent increase in multiplayer engagement across March and April [of 2020]”. Not to mention the success Microsoft’s Game Pass has seen, which raked in 10 million subscribers in 2020 alone (Washington Post, 2020).

The movie industry on the other hand, has not been doing so hot. Where gaming and its respective industry thrived because of the fact that everyone was stuck at home, the movie industry suffered for it. The bigger theaters like AMC and Regal Cinemas are still around, but smaller theaters wouldn’t have fared as favorably. Those are just the places that show movies, what’s to be said of the people making films? Covid restrictions undoubtedly made films harder to shell out, and since no one was going to the theaters, many films were forced to release on streaming services like Disney+. This was a problem too because deciding how to pay the filmmakers and their teams was something that needed to be done, and it was not always handled successfully (see our article on Scarjo v. Disney for an idea). 

This is why The Tragedy of Macbeth is perfect. As people are now starting to come back to the theaters, there will be less figuring out how to accommodate new releases on streaming platforms and less worrying about economic returns. We can go back to filmmakers receiving their dues the way they were originally intended to. Taking the opportunity to tell a story as epic and tragic as Macbeth’s once again is no mistake. In fact, what better way to pull viewers back into movie theaters than with the promise of a story you already know and love? Sure, Marvel is already doing a good job of bringing people back to theaters, but for those whose tastes lean towards the classics, Macbeth is surely the way to go if you’re trying to tap into that specific audience. As the end of the trailer suggests, The Tragedy of Macbeth looks like a movie that is fit for the silver screen, much in the way Dune was made to be as well. This film isn’t truly marketing a Shakespearean play, it is marketing the value of the silver screen. Streaming is great and all, but in truth, nothing beats the experience of watching a film in theaters. This is why supporting your local theater is important now more so than ever before. That is why there’s more to The Tragedy Of Macbeth than meets the eye. The Tragedy of Macbeth was released in theaters on December 25th, 2021, and starts streaming on Apple TV+ on January 14th, 2022.