Daniel Craig is veering from James Bond to Shakespeare.
The 53-year-old actor, who has said that his tenure as Bond will come to an finish with the discharge of “No Time to Die,” on Oct. 8, plans to return to Broadway subsequent spring to star within the title position of “Macbeth.”
Famous for his film profession, particularly because the rakish spy, Craig is also an achieved stage actor.
He has starred in two earlier Broadway plays, the 2009 production of “A Steady Rain” and a 2013 revival of “Betrayal.” And he performed the villainous Iago in a 2016 Off Broadway production of Shakespeare’s “Othello” at New York Theater Workshop, reverse David Oyelowo within the title position. (“Gritty brilliance,” the New York Times critic Ben Brantley wrote of Craig’s performance.)
In the “Macbeth” production, Ruth Negga will play his wife, Lady Macbeth. Negga, known for the TV show “Preacher” and the film “Loving,” last yr performed the title position in “Hamlet” (sure, a girl performed Hamlet; Negga had also beforehand performed Ophelia) in an Off Broadway production at St. Ann’s Warehouse.
The lead producer for the Broadway production might be Barbara Broccoli, who has a long collaboration with Craig: She and her brother produce the Bond movies, and so they also co-produced “A Steady Rain” and supported the nonprofit “Othello” production.
Broccoli said she had been speaking with Craig about Macbeth for a number of years, ever since he expressed an interest in enjoying the position.
“I’m thrilled that it’s coming after Bond, because, obviously, after 16 years of working with this man, the thought of it all coming to an end has been really difficult to take,” she said. “And so it’s really heartwarming for me that we’re going to be working on something else so soon after the wrapping up of his James Bond cycle.”
Broccoli said that she and Craig also thought it was vital to stage the play this season, as Broadway seeks to get well after a long shutdown prompted by the coronavirus pandemic.
“It’s been a horrendous 18 months for everyone, and live theater has been damaged tremendously,” she said. “He really wants to come back and be on the stage and encourage people to come back to Broadway — it’s important to all of us from a cultural point of view and from a social point of view.”
“Macbeth” is scheduled to run for 15 weeks, starting previews March 29 and opening April 28 at Broadway’s Lyceum Theater. The production is to be directed by Sam Gold, who also directed the Off Broadway “Othello” in which Craig appeared, and who in 2019 directed a Broadway revival of “King Lear.” The production will feature original music by Gaelynn Lea.
There have been 47 earlier Broadway productions of “Macbeth,” in line with the Internet Broadway Database; the most recent was in 2013, starring Ethan Hawke and Anne-Marie Duff.
Broccoli is also the lead producer of “Sing Street,” a musical that was scheduled to begin performances on Broadway in March 2020, but never did due to the pandemic. She said she still plans to carry the show to Broadway, but was not able to say when. “We love the show,” she said, “and we’re trying to figure out the best way to bring it back.”