MATTHEW-DUNNE MILES looks ahead to the pick of forthcoming Scottish cinema releases over the next year, including the Michael Fassbender-starring Macbeth and the long-awaited sequel to Trainspotting
With unmatched landscapes of glens, bens and lochs, not to mention cities steeped in history and character, it’s no surprise that Scotland remains a constant backdrop on the silver screen.
Whilst plenty of film critics and academy boards are prepping their ‘best of the year’ lists - Scotland’s film year seems to be kicking into gear,with the premiere of Justin Kurzel’s Macbeth takes place in Edinburgh this weekend.
The Scottish film surge doesn’t stop there. With a number of projects currently in the works, there’s plenty for film fans to get excited about in the next year, from iconic novel adaptations to cross culture comedies. A mixture of big budget blockbusters to interesting indie flicks.
The ‘Scottish play’ receives the big screen treatment later this autumn, with a full cinematic adaptation of the iconic William Shakespeare work. Starring Michael Fassbender in the leading role, as well as Marion Cotillard and Paddy Considine, the film is already attracting plenty of attention, having been nominated for the Palme d’Or at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. The film was shot at a number of locations across Scotland and England, including the Quirang on the Isle Of Skye. Macbeth is set for release on October 2 in UK cinemas.
Sunset Song debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival, but its roots are firmly set in Scotland – the 1932 Lewis Grassic Gibbon novel that film is based on is one of the country’s definitive literary works. Sunset Song stars Agyness Deyn and Peter Mullan and is set in the North-east wilderness in the early 1900s. It tells the tale of the dysfunctional and trying life of Chris Guthrie, who Deyn portrays. Despite being a quintessential Scottish story, filming took place in both New Zealand and Finland, as well as outside Aberdeen. Sunset Song is set for release this December.
Another case of a modern adaptation of a literary classic, Victor Frankentstein is a retelling of Mary Shelley’s novel from the perspective of the Doctor Frankenstein’s servant Igor. The film stars Glasgow’s own James McAvoy as the unhinged doctor, and Daniel Radcliffe appears as his troubled servant. Dunnottar Castle in Aberdeen has been used as the chilling backdrop for this upcoming gothic horror. After a number of delayed release dates, the film is now expected to hit screens on November 25.
A remake of a late-forties comedy crime caper, Whisky Galore! is based on the true story of a group of Scottish islanders attempting to plunder 50,000 cases of whisky from a stranded ship during the Second World War. Eddie Izzard takes up the leading role as the English officer, Captain Waggett, attempting to confront the rebellious islanders. The film will also feature Gregor Fisher of Rab C Nesbitt fame. The production has been shot across locations Govan and Dumbartonshire, and is scheduled for release sometime next year.
Dutch director Robert Jan Westdijk’s soft spot for a band with beginnings in Edinburgh has become the inspiration behind his latest film project. Waterboys follows the story of a crime novelist and his son as they bond on a trip to the Scottish capital. The choice of location for this father-son bonding road trip is apparently down to the director’s penchant for ‘80s celtic rockers group The Waterboys, with the frontman Mike Scott’s homecoming gig playing a key role in the story. The Engish and Dutch-language project is set for release in 2016.
Could it be? The much-mooted sequel to 1996’s Trainspotting could finally be on the cards, with Ewan McGregor recently revealing in an interview that he was “totally up for it”, and director Danny Boyle confirming that all four lead actors were keen to reprise their roles. It may be wishful thinking to hope that Boyle’s second Irvine Welsh book adaptation Porno could be shot and finished by the end of 2016, but with the 20th anniversary of the seminal Trainspotting coming up, it would be apt.