Michael Fassbender to play Macbeth

Michael FassbenderMichael Fassbender is to take on the challenge of playing Macbeth in a new feature version of the tragedy. Natalie Portman is also on board as Lady Macbeth, with Justin Kurzel at the helm to direct.

After some speculation about where this latest big-screen interpretation will shoot, it has now been confirmed that filming will be in the UK early next year. The project is from See Saw Films, producers of the much-garlanded The King's Speech and the highly-anticipated BBC Two, New Zealand-set drama from director Jane Campion, Top of the Lake.

It is reported that this version of Macbeth will adhere to its original 11th century setting and Shakespearean dialogue. Certainly the two lead actors should know each other's working methods, having both starred in Terrence Malick's recently-wrapped and as yet untitled feature set against a backdrop of the music scene in Texas.

Born in Germany, raised in Ireland and now resident in Hackney, London, Fassbender has certainly been keeping very busy, with several films both in the can and in the pipeline. With the help of our online film and TV database, Production Intelligence, we have put together a round-up of his latest and future projects.

Fassbender recently collaborated again with Shame director Steve McQueen on Twelve Years A Slave, with Chiwetel Ejiofor, Benedict Cumberbatch and Brad Pitt, who also produces. The film is based on the true story of Solomon Northup, who was kidnapped and sold into slavery in 1841.

The actor is currently finishing off filming X-Men: Days of Future Past, shooting in Canada and directed by Bryan Singer, in which he returns to the role of Magneto.

Fassbender also head ups a glittering cast including Javier Bardem, Brad Pitt (again), Cameron Diaz, Natalie Dormer and Penelope Cruz in Ridley Scott's The Counselor, about a lawyer who becomes embroiled in the dark and dangerous world of drug trafficking.

The feature shot partially here in the UK last summer, using Shepperton Studios and locations including Skywood House in Denham, Heathrow Airport, Broadgate, Shoreditch and Canary Wharf in London and West Wycombe Park. See if you can spot the locations when the film opens here on 15 November.

So the question is: what next for Michael Fassbender? He has several projects stacking up, including Genius for the newly formed Michael Grandage Company and the long-gestating At-Swim-Two-Birds, which Brendan Gleeson will direct from his own adaptation of the Flann O'Brien novel.

Then again, Fassbender could concentrate on Irish Myths - a feature about medieval folk hero Cuchulain - which he has been developing through Finn McCool Films, the production company he runs with Ronan Bennett.

He is a man very much in demand.