Joaquin Phoenix Startles Europe Again With “Napoleon”
Two years after dropping two historical epics –The Last Duel and The House of Gucci– Ridley Scott is back with a third. And not just any but of history’s greatest military tactician –Napoleon Bonaparte.
A few days ago, Sony Pictures Entertainment, together with Apple, released the first trailer for the movie titled Napoleon which would see Academy Award-winning actor, Joaquin Phoenix (Joker, 2019), portray the role of the 5’7 Frenchman. The new movie, billed as a “spectacle-filled action epic”, depicts the real-life Bonaparte’s ascent to power and descent before his demise in 1821 at the age of 51.
The trailer more than compliments this, showing Napoleon in his prime, rising through the ranks and crushing enemies on the battlefield – smashing through Egypt, and at some point, ice – to take on the mantle of Emperor of France in stunning scenes befitting of a character of his magnitude. Playing his lover Josephine is English actress Vanessa Kirby (Mission Impossible – Fallout, 2018) with whom he had a fragile relationship.
Napoleon marks the first meeting of Phoenix and Scott since 2000’s Gladiator (from Emperor of Rome to Emperor of France, Joaquin Phoenix sure knows his way to the throne and our hearts). Phoenix’s height is appropriate for him to play Napoleon in Ridley Scott’s film since, in contrast to the height trope, the Frenchman was actually closer to Phoenix’s height of 5’8 (1.7m) than 5’2 (1.5m).
Written by Davis Scarpa (The Day the Earth Stood Still, 2008) and originally called “Kitbag”, the movie was initially set to be released on Apple TV+ but was rescheduled for a theatrical release with Sony, and it will thereafter stream on Apple TV+. Scott has been a self-acclaimed Napoleon fan, and as we know, no one does historical epics quite like him. We certainly hope Napoleon is another addition to his distinguished track record come November 22nd.