Rumours and hearsay are the plague of the entertainment industry, but the recent story about Stanley Kubrick’s passion project, Napoleon, comes from a relatively solid source – the late director’s brother-in-law. At an event held recently at De Montfort University in the UK, Jan Harlan – who also executive produced such Kubrick projects as The Shining and Eyes Wide Shut – explained that the Napoleon project would be headed to HBO as a six-hour miniseries, with Cary Fukunaga possibly at the helm.
Fukunaga has a relationship with HBO which previously bore the phenomenally successful, award-winning first season of True Detective – of which he directed all of the episodes. This Napoleon miniseries would likely be delivered in a similar way, but boasts Steven Spielberg among its producers. As a long-time friend of Kubrick, Spielberg was previously rumoured to be attached to Napoleon – as was Baz Luhrmann, at one time. Neither of those versions made it to production, however, but it seems that the third time might be the charm.
During his career, Stanley Kubrick often referred to his Napoleon passion project and worked on it periodically from 1961 onwards. The story of the legendary French military and political leader clearly inspired Kubrick to write an epic biopic, which has now been worked on – reportedly – by David Leland (Mona Lisa, The Borgias). It is not yet clear when this miniseries might enter production, but a Cary Fukunaga-helmed Kubrick project is certainly one to watch for.