Ridley Scott brought the seedy world of the Roman empire to life in the epic Oscar-winning Gladiator film back in 2000, and now it seems he has a new historical saga in his sights as he wants to take on the French Revolution and more specifically, the life of Napoleon Bonaparte. Scott is teaming up with Gladiator actor and occasional Joker Joaquin Phoenix to bring the famous army commander and French emperor to life.
Indiewire reported that the film is titled Kitbag, which comes from the saying “There is a general’s staff hidden in every soldier’s kitbag.” According to the report, the film will be an original and personal look at Napoleon’s origins and his ruthless rise to becoming the French emperor, “viewed through the prism of his addictive and often volatile relationship with his wife and one true love, Josephine”. The article goes on to further describe the intention of the film is to capture Napoleon’s relentless ambition and strategic mind through his many battles and how he used that vision to gain power the way he did.
This certainly sounds like an ambitious idea and one that is no doubt destined to be an epic in the same vein of many historical war films from the past, including Gladiator. With a rich life to work with and a script that will be written by Scott’s “All the Money in the World” collaborator David Scarpa, it promises to be a film to look out for. And in Phoenix, the director has one of the world’s best actors who should do a fantastic job in bringing the complex Napoleon to life.
The film is scheduled to start pre-production early next year once Scott finishes work on his upcoming Gucci murder mystery. It’s still a fair distance away, but given that the movie world is ticking over rather slowly for now, it shouldn’t be an issue.
Despite Napoleon’s historical legacy, there have been few films made about the legendary leader, with the last big named director wanting to tell a story about his life being the late Stanley Kubrick following his sci-fi epic 2001: A Space Odyssey. That project never worked out though with HBO wanting to turn that old script into a project which would see Cary Fukunaga directing. After being seemingly ignored for many years by big Hollywood studios, we could be getting two big Napoleon epics in the near future then. As a fan of big historical films, I am certainly looking forward to seeing this incredible story unfold, whenever it does release.
Last Updated: October 15, 2020