Written by David Scarpa (“All the Money in the World”), “Napoleon” will chronicle its namesake’s rise and fall to power while also examining his tumultuous relationship with his wife, Empress Joséphine (Vanessa Kirby). This being a Ridley Scott epic, you can rest assured “Napoleon” won’t be hurting for sequences of men charging into combat to beat the ever-lasting snot out of one another, in addition to the domestic drama involving Napoleon and Joséphine.
Speaking to Total Film, the famously economic filmmaker revealed he was able to stage six massive battles over the course of merely two months of shooting. “Every scene is geometry. By having 11 to 14 cameras, we shot ‘Napoleon’ in 62 days,” he explained. Scott is now in the midst of shooting his long-awaited “Gladiator” sequel, which is currently on hold while the striking actors’ guild works out a fair and equitable deal with the major studios. But if you’re worried a little thing like an industry-changing strike is going to stop the man who swapped out Kevin Spacey for Christopher Plummer at the last minute in “All the Money in the World” from making the film’s scheduled release, guess again. “I’m doing ‘Gladiator 2’ now in 54 days, because I’m not doing 50 takes with one camera, on one shot, and then turning around,” Scott added.
Tragically, if there’s one thing we can confidently say the four-hour cut of “Napoleon” won’t include, it’s his skirmish with hemorrhoids on the day the Battle of Waterloo took place. Scott previously confirmed that detail was exorcised from the film early on because “it became too distracting,” which is a true loss for the medium.
“Napoleon” charges into theaters on November 22, 2023. The director’s cut will stream on Apple TV+ at a later date.