Ridley Scott’s New Movie Creates An Epic Clash With Spielberg & Kubrick That’s 54 Years In The Making

Ridley Scott’s highly-anticipated biopic starring Joaquin Phoenix as Napoleon Bonaparte will be tested by the legendary pair of Spielberg and Kubrick.

Ridley Scott’s upcoming movie Napoleon creates a major showdown with Steven Spielberg and Stanley Kubrick that’s over five decades in the making. Kubrick’s original vision for the dramatization of the historical figure Napoleon Bonaparte will finally be given a chance to see the light of day thanks to the guiding hands of Spielberg. Scott’s version of a biopic for Bonaparte will give the highly-anticipated series a run for its money, with both projects expected to be majorly successful in the near future.

Kubrick had originally planned for Napoleon to be his ninth feature film after the massive success of 2001: A Space Odyssey. Kubrick’s original script was constructed based on his own rigorous and intensive research on the historical figure and chronicles the entire life of Bonaparte. Kubrick’s Napoleon has been called the “greatest film never made”, with Jack Nicholson set to star before the film’s production ultimately fell apart. Scott’s version will certainly face stiff competition despite having a sizable head start on Spielberg’s series, which will revitalize the creative intentions behind Kubrick’s ambitious project.

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Ridley Scott & Steven Spielberg Are Both Making Napoleon Projects (& The Latter’s Started With Stanley Kubrick)

Joaquin Phoenix as Napoleon Bonaparte in Napoleon

Both Steven Spielberg and Ridley Scott will dive into the accomplishments and downfalls of the former French emperor. Ridley Scott’s Napoleon will star Joaquin Phoenix as Napoleon Bonaparte and Vanessa Kirby as Empress Josephine. The film is described as an original analysis of the historical figure through the personal lens of his intense relationship with the love of his life. The Apple Studios film will hit theaters on November 22, 2023, with a lengthy runtime of roughly 2 hours and 38 minutes before becoming available to stream on Apple TV+.

Spielberg’s Napoleon project is expected to be a seven-part limited series made for HBO and is inspired by legendary filmmaker Stanley Kubrick’s original script. The project has been in development at HBO for nearly a decade after Kubrick was initially unable to gather the necessary funding to bring his vision of the French Revolutionary leader to life. The release of the HBO series has not been officially announced but is nearly guaranteed to happen with Spielberg at the helm of production. Spielberg recently confirmed the development of the project at the 2023 Berlin International Film Festival.

Which Upcoming Napoleon Project Is More Exciting?

Napoleon and soldiers on horseback charging

Both upcoming Napoleon projects should certainly deliver in all areas of historical accuracy, entertainment value, exceptional performances, and phenomenal filmmaking. However, Spielberg’s involvement in Kubrick’s original vision might give it an edge in terms of which project is more exciting. Scott’s version with Phoenix in the titular role is expected to win over both critics and audiences, but the attachments of Spielberg and HBO to the Kubrick interpretation are almost too good to be true. The weight of Spielberg’s influence and HBO’s brand combine to make Kubrick’s series an absolute winner which Scott’s rendition of Napoleon might have difficulty competing with.