In what can only be described as a monolithic prospect, screen stars Marion Cotillard and Michael Fassbender will unite to portray Shakespeare’s Macbeth. The French actress will play Lady Macbeth, while Fassbender fulfils the titular role.

Marion CotillardCotillard stars in David Bowie's video for The Next Day alongside Gary Oldman

Natalie Portman was set to play the powerful character in See-Saw Film’s cinematic adaptation of the classic, but given that she’s all set to helm her directorial debut - A Tale Of Love And Darkness – Cotillard has stepped in.

The adaptation’s producer Iain Canning said of the new casting: “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.”

Director Justin Kurzel told Variety that Cotillard is “one of the bravest and most compelling actors I have watched in recent years”. By taking on the role, Cotillard follows in the footsteps of Dame Judi Dench and Keeley Hawes. Opposite her will be Fassbender, who features in the brand new trailer for The Counselor – Ridley Scott’s latest offering.

Michael FassbenderFassbender in The Counselor

The film sees him – rightly or wrongly, probably wrongly – get on the wrong side of some violent-sounding drug thugs, if Brad Pitt’s words of warning are anything to go by.

Also starring Javier Bardem, Penelope Cruz and Cameron Diaz, the stylish thriller is already creating Oscars buzz, especially considering Fassbender was widely considered to have deserved the 2012 Oscar for Shame, an award he wasn’t even nominated for - it was picked up by Jean Dujardin for The Artist instead. Macbeth is set to shoot in January 2014, while The Counselor is out on October 25.

Check out the teaser trailer for The Counselor