Apple picks up Ridley Scott epic about Napoleon starring Joaquin Phoenix

“Today there’s no better partner than Apple to bring a story like this to a global audience.””

What you need to know

  • Apple has a new TV+ movie in the works.
  • Kitbag is a film about Napoleon Bonaparte.
  • It will be directed by Ridley Scott and star Joaquin Phoenix as Napoleon.

Apple has agreed to finance Ridley Scott’s film Kitbag, starring Joaquin Phoenix as Napoleon Bonaparte.

From Deadline:

Apple Studios has committed to finance and produce Kitbag, the Napoleon Bonaparte epic that Ridley Scott will direct, with Oscar-winning Joker star Joaquin Phoenix playing the French emperor and military leader. Production will begin in early 2022 in the UK. Scott and Kevin Walsh will produce for Scott Free.

Deadline last October revealed the aspirations of Scott and Phoenix to re-team on this film, which now has a screenplay by David Scarpa. He wrote the Scott-directed Getty kidnap drama All The Money in the World. Scott Free’s deal with 20th Century Studios obliged him to show it there last fall, but it became free and clear towards year end, and a world rights deal closed within the past two weeks at Apple Studios, where Scott Free has its first look deal for television projects.

Scott said he had “always been fascinated” by Napoleon and has long wanted to make a film about him. Part of the issue, Deadline reports, was having the right person to play Napoleon. Scott will be reunited with Gladiator star Joaquin Phoenix and says that “no actor could ever embody Napoleon” like him.

On the film itself:

The film’s title is derived from the saying “There is a general’s staff hidden in every soldier’s kitbag.” The film is an original and personal look at Napoleon’s origins and his swift, ruthless climb to emperor, viewed through the prism of his addictive and often volatile relationship with his wife and one true love, Josephine. The intention of the film is to capture Napoleon’s famous battles, relentless ambition and astounding strategic mind as an extraordinary military leader and war visionary.

Production on Kitbag will begin in the UK next year.

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