Years from now, when alien-human hybrids are looking back on the history of Earth, they will say to themselves, "That’s weird. Of the myriad of big-budget biopics that existed in the late 20th century and early 21st century, why didn’t anybody in America make one about Napoleon Bonaparte?" Then the elder nobleman will let out a big laugh and say, "Oh, they tried, my boy." Warner Bros may possibly alter my futuristic predictions, however, as they’ve signed director Rupert Sanders, the commercials-to-feature director of Snow White and the Huntsman, to direct the upcoming epic they’re simply titling Napoleon, which will be produced by Gianni Nunnari (300).
According to THR, this won’t just be your average dry take on the near-legendary military leader. I shudder to say it, but it will be a Scarface-like take on Napoleon, which I assume means the film will follow him from his educated background all the way through his consistently successful reign through Europe in the early 19th century, and possibly up until his death. I can’t really see them slapping Napoleon with a coke habit and a shitty 1980s soundtrack. Then again, I would probably option off my next born child if they could somehow rope Al Pacino into taking the part. "Say hello to me, someone else’s little friend." It writes itself!
Speaking of, the script was written by Jeremy Doner, whose main claim to fame has been writing episodes of Damages and The Killing, on which he served as a producer for two seasons. That’s the kind of resume listing I would normally hold against him, but these two projects are vastly different and can’t really bear that comparison.
We can probably assume that the film will be a strong character piece, focusing on Napoleon’s brilliant mind for strategy and battle, and how that balanced tenuously with his over-arching ego and confidence. I mean, who tries to conquer Russia? The movie will almost certainly be peppered with huge battle scenes, too, probably paired with an obnoxious score. So everyone has something to look forward to.
I guess someone at Warners thought Sanders directed the shit out of Snow White and the Huntsman, because this is a pretty huge project for such a new talent to take on. His other previously announced follow-up films, like the sci-fi romance Juliet or the true crime drama 90 Church may be better suited for him at this stage in his career.
When it comes to Napoleon projects, none will ever seem more important than Stanley Kubrick’s famed unproduced film, which experienced arguably the most elaborate pre-production phase of any project ever. Steven Spielberg is supposed to be adapting that version of the story, but that is probably still years away given its scope. Take a deeper look at Kubrick’s vision below.