More than two decades since Joaquin Phoenix earned his first Oscar nomination for playing a bumbling Roman emperor, the Oscar winner reunites with Gladiator director Ridley Scott for another epic period piece.
Originally titled ‘Kitbag’, the historical drama ‘Napoleon’ follows the life of the infamous monarch and his love affair with his wife Josephine, played by Vanessa Kirby.
According to the official synopsis, “Kitbag” takes an original and personal look at Napoleon’s origins and rise to swift, ruthless emperor through the prism of his addictive and often volatile relationship with his wife and one true love, Josephine. The film aims to capture Napoleon’s famous battles, ruthless ambitions and astonishing strategic mind as an extraordinary military leader and war visionary.
Director Scott teamed up again with “All the Money in the World” scribe David Scarpa for the screenplay, and Scott and Kevin Walsh produced “Napoleon” for Scott Free Productions. Apple Studios is behind the project after it was first announced in 2020 with 20th Century.
Production of “Napoleon” began in February 2022 and was completed in May of the same year. Apple will release it in theaters this November, before streaming on Apple TV+ at an as-yet-unannounced date.
Keep scrolling to see all the details on Napoleon starring Scott Phoenix.
“Napoleon” is rated R
“Napoleon” has reportedly received an R rating from the MPAA, confirming that production has wrapped. The film is said to be around 150 minutes long and is expected to premiere at Cannes.
Ridley Scott rewrote Napoleon thanks to Joaquin Phoenix’s Intuition
Ridley Scott shot the Napoleon script during production after seeing Joaquin Phoenix’s character.
“Joaquin is as far from conventional as you can get.” Not on purpose, but by instinct,” Scott said. “It’s what relaxes you. If something bothers him, he will speak up. (‘Napoleon’) made him special by constantly asking questions. Joaquin is probably the most unique, thoughtful actor I’ve ever worked with.”
Scott ended up rewriting the entire “goddamn movie” to focus on what Napoleon Bonaparte was like in real life.
“I think with Napoleon we dug in and found the character, or as close as we could,” Scott added. “Joaquin and I can rewrite the damn movie because he’s uncomfortable. And that’s what happened to Napoleon,” he said. “We chose the film to help him focus on Bonaparte. I had to respect that because what was said was incredibly constructive. It just made it bigger and better.”
Despite initial reports of a 2022 release, “Napoleon” has been shelved by Apple
“Napoleon” was not considered for the 2023 Oscar season, despite earlier reports that Apple would release the film in late 2022. In September 2022, “Napoleon” was still in the post-production process. A 2023 release date has not yet been announced.
Vanessa Kirby compared Napoleon to “The Crown”.
Vanessa Kirby detailed her “forensic research” on Queen Josephine Bonaparte of France, comparing it to her work on “The Crown.”
“It reminds me of my process for something like a movie about Josephine, ‘The Crown,’ where you have to play someone and do so much forensic research to gather all these different impressions that were recorded. of them is the real person and bring it into a creature for the version of that person on screen,” Kirby said The playlist. “It’s asking something different of me, but the journey is kind of familiar, just because studying a real person — who didn’t have a lot of footage or anything, just books — it was really amazing to take in. And now I really like music. So (this historical epic) is a completely different process that I’m embarking on right here. I have practically everything I can find, it just fills my whole house. And I love it.”
Kirby teased that “Napoleon” is actually about Josephine’s relationship with the king, adding that director Scott is a “master” of period filmmaking.
Don’t confuse the movie with Steven Spielberg’s upcoming series
Despite initial conflicting reports, Ridley Scott’s “Napoleon” is separate from Steven Spielberg’s next project of the same name. Spielberg has announced that he is “majoring into production” on a seven-part series at HBO based on Stanley Kubrick’s original “Napoleon” screenplay from his shelved project (per Deadline). Kubrick originally planned an extensive production with over 40,000 extras, and Jack Nicholson and David Hemmings were in talks to play Josephine Bonaparte with Aubrey Hepburn in the 1970s.
Spielberg has been involved in reworking Kubrick’s concept for the past decade, and in 2016, director Cary Joji Fukanaga will helm the series, based on a screenplay by “Proof” writer David Auburn. No other writers or directors have yet been announced for the new project.