Napoleon was supposed to be Stanley Kubrick’s follow-up to 2001: A Space Odyssey. The movie almost happened. Extensive research was done, costumes were made, the screenplay was written, locations were scouted, names were thrown around for the cast — from various sources: Audrey Hepburn, David Hemmings, Jack Nicholson, Oskar Werner. The Romanian army even agreed to stage the massive battle scenes for Kubrick. According to Wikipedia, this would have involved 40,000 soldiers and 10,000 cavalrymen. But then the project got shelved due to the ballooning budget and the box office failure of the film Waterloo.
Now Steven Spielberg is taking up the project. Canal Plus interviewed Spielberg recently, and the director revealed that he is working with Kubrick’s family to turn the Napoleon screenplay into a television miniseries. Spielberg previously completed Kubrick’s unmade A.I. Artificial Intelligence, a movie I liked until the ending (which you’ve probably heard a lot from almost everyone).
No word yet on how far Spielberg is with the teleplay or how long it will be. Logan wondered in a staff email if we’d see Spielberg’s delayed Robopocalypse adaptation before Napoleon is completed. Expect more information on Napoleon in the coming months.[Canal Plus via The Guardian]