A few days ago, we reported on a rumor that True Detective’s Cary Fukunaga might be directing Stanley Kubrick’s dream project Napoleon for HBO. Now we have official confirmation that Fukunaga is definitely in talks for the show, with Steven Spielberg producing.
Napoleon was a dream production for Stanley Kubrick, who spent years working on and researching it, only to never have it realized. Steven Spielberg has been lending a hand to the project as a producer, but there were never any rumors that he might step in to direct. Baz Luhrmann was attached to the production for awhile, but has since exited. Now, it appears that Fukunaga is likely to take his place.
Fukunaga is perfectly suited for a production of Napoleon – he’s proven his mettle with the first season of True Detective for HBO, and so it’s not surprising that he would want to take on something as challenging as a Kubrick dream project. The only question mark is his schedule, which so far includes executive-producing (and directing the first episode of) The Alienist for TNT, and a potential attachment to another TV series Maniac, a dark comedy set to star Emma Stone and Jonah Hill, for DirecTV. Hopefully he’ll work it all out and be ready to take on Napoleon by the time the cameras are set to roll.
HBO’s mini-series will use Kubrick’s materials to expand the story into a fully fledged, six-hour story, with a script by David Leland (The Borgias). While we can assume that this is an expansion on Kubrick’s original idea, we must remember that Kubrick tended to go overboard in his research and would probably have welcomed the opportunity to take a whole six hours to tell the story. Remember Barry Lyndon?
We hope to hear that talks with Fukunaga have ended with the director in the chair and prepping for Napoleon. But until we do, it’s at least heartening to know that those rumors have not proved false.