Ridley Scott’s Kitbag will star Joaquin Phoenix as the French military commander Napoleon, charting his ruthless climb to power.

Apple has, according to Deadline, committed to financing Ridley Scott’s Napoleon epic, Kitbag. 

Scott’s plans to make a film charting the meteoric rise of the French military commander into all-conquering emperor have been public knowledge for some moths now. As usual, Scott’s slate is busy and we can imagine the pre-production for a film of this scope might take a moment too: as such, production is slated to begin in early 2022.

In the meantime, Scott, who has just finished up directing duties on The Last Duel, starring Adam Driver, Matt Damon and Jodie Comer, will be helming Gucci, the story of a planned assassination inside the iconic fashion house.

A script for Kitbag is reportedly already in place and has been penned by David Scarpa, who wrote All The Money In The World, the Getty kidnapping film that Scott directed. Despite having a first-look deal with Warner Bros, by the turn of the year, Scott was apparently free to shop Kitbag elsewhere and Apple has wasted no time in choosing to finance the production.

Speaking about the project, Scott said “Napoleon is a man I’ve always been fascinated by, he came out of nowhere to rule everything — but all the while he was waging a romantic war with his adulterous wife Josephine. He conquered the world to try to win her love, and when he couldn’t, he conquered it to destroy her, and destroyed himself in the process.”

On the subject of Phoenix playing Bonaparte, the filmmaker said “no actor could ever embody Napoleon like Joaquin”. “He created one of movie history’s most complex Emperors in Gladiator, and we’ll create another with his Napoleon. It’s a brilliant script written by David Scarpa, and today there’s no better partner than Apple to bring a story like this to a global audience”.

We’re looking forward to hearing more news on this one, especially as further casting developments begin to break. We’ll keep you updated as we hear more.

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