Rupert Sanders to Direct ‘Napoleon’

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Briefly: Napoleon is a name that carries serious weight in the film world, not only because of the French leader’s status as a notable general and 11 years as Emperor of the French. His film cachet comes from the Abel Gance film of 1927, which innovated many filmmaking effects and even used a three-projection system to create a widescreen triptych for the film’s final reel. Additionally, Stanley Kubrick spent years working on a Napoleon biography that never came to fruition.

But Napoleon Bonaparte is too significant a figure to stay dormant in Hollywood forever, and now Warner Bros. is working on a new biopic about the leader, produced by Gianni Nunari (300) and scripted by Jeremy Doner (AMC’s The Killing). Rupert Sanders, who moved from commercials to the director’s chair of Snow White and the Huntsman, then to tabloid pages for his dalliance with Snow White star Kristen Stewart, has been set to direct.

THR says the film will take “a Scarface-like look” at Napoleon Bonaparte. That suggests that the real-life events that led out of the French Revolution and into Napoelon’s rule and program of European conquest will be told as the dramatic ascent of one man of steely will and scant inhibitions, with (naturally) the application of excessive force.

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Steven Spielberg and Stanley Kubrick are famously linked through the film A.I. Artificial Intelligence, which Kubrick conceived in the ’70s, and ultimately passed to Spielberg in the mid ’90s. Spielberg only made A.I. in the wake of Kubrick’s death. While they had some communication on the project, it wasn’t one that could really be called a collaboration.

Now Spielberg is taking on another project originally developed by Kubrick. This one is much closer to the late filmmaker’s heart, but if the current version of it comes to pass, it will be something much different from what Kubrick originally envisioned. (As one might expect.) Spielberg wants to make Napoleon, based on the French leader who was Emperor of the French from 1804 to 1815.

Working from Kubrick’s original script, with the cooperation of his surviving family, Spielberg is developing Napoleon as a television mini-series rather than a feature film. Read More »

One of the more legendary unrealized films is Stanley Kubrick‘s planned film about Napoleon. The director did an amazing amount of research, eventually claiming to have read five hundred books on the subject. He wrote a script (read it here) and planned to shoot the film on location in France and Romania, with additional work in studio space in the UK. The project became his focus after 2001, but it was never made due to a variety of factors that included low box office for competing films and the high cost of production. All we have are a collection of documents, photos and designs related to the film. Fortunately, there are a great many of those. Read one in which Mr. Kubrick lays out plans for shooting, after the break. Read More »

Cool Stuff: The ‘Ones That Got Away’ Posters

Most filmmakers have projects they want to make but never get around to. Maybe they can’t get the funding together, maybe they lose the rights or maybe they pass away. There are famous examples of this all the way through history from Stanley Kubrick’s Napoleon and Orson Welles’s Don Quixote to newer projects like James Cameron’s Spider-Man, Tim Burton’s Superman and Peter Jackson’s Halo. The list goes on and on.

Artist Fernando Reza, who also did these cool TV Band posters, asked the question, “What If?” What if Stanley Kubrick finished Napoleon? What is Orson Welles finished Don Quixote? And he answered those questions with his new set of film posters called The Ones That Got Away; Four posters including those two aforementioned films as well as Alfred Hitchcock’s Kaleidoscope and David Lean’s Nostromo.

Read what Reza had to say about the project, see all the posters and learn how to buy them after the jump. Read More »

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