For a school project, we have to create a trailer to a modernized version of Macbeth, but I'm having a tough time coming up with too many ideas on how exactly to modernize the story, with the fact...

For a school project, we have to create a trailer to a modernized version of Macbeth, but I'm having a tough time coming up with too many ideas on how exactly to modernize the story, with the fact that in our world, it's much harder to get away with murder or any crimes of the sort. An idea that I did have was to put the plot in an unstable country, perhaps a Stratocracy, but I'm still unsure on how exactly that would work. 

Expert Answers
boomer-sooner eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Macbeth is a wonderful play that easily adapts to almost any timeframe and setting.  Murder is not as difficult to get away with as one might think.  According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) statistics nearly 40% of murder and manslaughter investigations are not cleared.

Macbeth can be easily scaled to fit smaller settings.  Instead of assuming the setting is an entire country like Scotland in the play, the setting may be a relegated to a single town.  The play retains all of the exiting nature despite the smaller setting.  Murder, intrigue, car chases and shoot-outs are all part of the new trailer.

An example of how to scale the characters:

King Duncan is now the mayor.  Macbeth transforms from lead Detective, to Police Chief before becoming mayor after Duncan's murder.  Banquo would fit as the district attorney, the senior prosecutor.  These roles give Macbeth the ability to cover up a murder because he has a friend as the DA before he ultimately kills Banqou as well.  The withes can be transformed into the town drunk or crazy cat lady type of character.

The remainder of the story can fall into place along this setting.  The ambush of Fleance becomes a shoot-out or car chase.  The ultimate hero Malcolm reveals the treachery of Macbeth and is elected Mayor in the closing scene.  Seeing ghosts, the suicide of Lady Macbeth and prophecies remain largely unchanged.  A man not born of woman can remain a C-section born Macduff.  The Barnum Wood prophecy can represent a corporation buying land in the town, or even the name of a sidekick character to Malcolm or Macduff.