It’s been a while since we’ve updated audiences about the Napoleon Bonaparte TV project Steven Spielberg began putting together last spring. In the time since that announcement, Spielberg’s production company has already signed with CBS to produce the original series Extant. While Spielberg’s a busy dude, it seems like the Napoleon project is still in the works. The latest news is that Baz Luhrmann is circling the project to potentially direct.
Deadline got the inside scoop, noting that deals “are a long way from being made,” but it wouldn’t shock us if Luhrmann actually did stray away from film to direct a TV miniseries. After all, the Napoleon Bonaparte project won’t exactly be the usual fodder for TV. Back in 1961, the late Stanley Kubrick put together a script based on the life and times of the famous French ruler. The script was initially conceived as a theatrical film, but its grandiose nature kept Hollywood heads at the time from investing. It may not work for an epic movie, but Spielberg seems to be betting it will work for a miniseries, and he seems to want to court a well thought-of director to sign on.
Luhrmann is recently coming off the financial success of The Great Gatsby, and definitely could have his pick of projects in Hollywood. Regardless, the director doesn’t currently have a new project in the works. With his schedule fairly open, the miniseries could really start chugging forward sooner rather than later if the director chooses to sign on.
The other big news is that it looks like the Napoleon Bonaparte project is being set up at the subscription cable station HBO. It seems as if there are still quite a few details that need to fall into place, but HBO is fond of historical-oriented dramas, and I wouldn’t be surprised to hear this one continue to take shape at the subscription cable network, whether or whether not Luhrmann decides to get involved. I really hope he does sign on. I’ve generally been a fan of Luhrmann’s stylistic vision of the world, and I’d be interested to see what he could do with something a little longer, like a miniseries.
There’s a similar theatrical project in the works from the Snow White and the Huntsman director Rupert Sanders. That ones rolling with the title Napoleon and is moving forward at Warner Bros. There’s definitely more room to get into detail with a miniseries, but that’s not necessarily a good thing. We’ll have to wait and see how each of the Napoleon projects pan out in the coming months.
You can check out more about the currently unproduced Kubrick project, below.