Marion Cotillard joins Michael Fassbender in Macbeth

Marion Cotillard Marion Cotillard won an Oscar in 2008 for her performance as Edith Piaf in La Vie en Rose

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Marion Cotillard is to replace Natalie Portman in a new film adaptation of Macbeth starring Michael Fassbender.

The film, which is being directed by Australia's Justin Kurzel, is described as "an energetic and modern themed take on a timeless story".

It is being produced by The King's Speech and Shame producers See Saw.

Production will start at the end of the year with filming starting in the UK in January 2014.

StudioCanal is financing the majority of the picture with Film4.

Tessa Ross, Head of Film4, called Kurzel, who directed Snowtown - a low budget horror film, "an exceptional director".

She said she was "very excited" at the "prospect of his visceral and urgent work" along with the "extraordinary" cast.

See Saw said the film will be "a thrilling interpretation of the dramatic realities of the times and a truthful reimagining of what wartime must have really been like for one of Shakespeare's most famous and compelling characters.

"A story of all-consuming passion and ambition set in war-torn 11th Century Scotland."

Sir Kenneth Branagh is taking his own stage version of the doomed Scottish king to New York next year.

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