One of the more notoriously cursed properties in all of Hollywood is a film version of the life of French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte. Though the project has been on and off for a while, Warner Bros. is back in development on a new film about the famous historical figure, simply titled Napoleon, and they have hired director Rupert Sanders to helm.
The script is being written by Jeremy Doner (AMC’s The Killing) and will purportedly take a “Scarface-like look” at the life of the Napoleon. In such a context, this likely means that the film will favor a broader look at the Emperor and pit him as a ruthless leader bent on dominating all of Europe.
A recent book was devoted to Stanley Kubrick’s film that never was, and showed the startling accuracy with which he sought to recreate Napoleon’s life. There were rumors this past spring that Steven Spielberg was going to take up all of Kubrick’s research and script and turn the film into a miniseries, but that seems to have fizzled out. Kubrick himself abandoned the project and sunk his resources and research into Barry Lyndon instead.
Back to this current production, I’m not entirely sure how the Scarface angle will figure into Napoleon’s story (apart from maybe giving new meaning to the line “say hello to my little friend”), but Sanders proved to have a keen visual eye with his feature debut (Snow White and the Huntsman), and the film’s producer, Gianni Nunari, is no stranger to violent historical epics, having produced 300.
Whether it covers his entire life and rise from French general to Emperor to his crushing defeat at Waterloo, or chooses instead to focus on one small period of his life (which is all the rage right now thanks to biopics like Lincoln), remains to be seen. Needless to say, we’ll keep you up to date with all the latest developments as they roll in.
Are you excited for Napolean? What do you think of the Scarface angle? Let us know in the comments section below.