A world conqueror is coming. The first trailer for Ridley Scott’s Napoleon just dropped, and it features basically everything you might want from a Ridley Scott movie about Napoleon Bonaparte. There’s Joaquin Phoenix wearing a series of period costumes and leading historic charges, plenty of horses, and Vanessa Kirby doing her best Lady MacBeth. The trailer suggests that the movie will give us a sweeping view of the French Revolution, which brought Napoleon to power, as well as his time as Emperor of the French Empire and his eventual downfall.
The movie, which comes from Apple and is being released in theaters on Nov. 22 and will hit Apple TV+ at a later date, has an official description that reads as follows: “Napoleon Bonaparte’s relentless journey to power through the prism of his addictive, volatile relationship with his one true love, Josephine (Vanessa Kirby), showcasing his visionary military and political tactics against some of the most dynamic practical battle sequences ever filmed.”
In addition to Phoenix and Kirby, the film also stars Matthew Needham, Ben Miles, Tahar Rahim, Youssef Kerkour and Phil Cornwell. This is the second time that Phoenix has worked with Ridley Scott, following Scott’s best-picture-winning Gladiator in 2000. The film’s grand sweep suggests that no expense was spared in the movie’s filming, and that its reportedly north of 2-hour runtime will be justified by plenty of sweeping battle sequences.
Napoleon is the culmination of decades of effort by major Hollywood directors to tell a definitive story about the famed French Emperor. Stanley Kubrick famously chased after a Napoleon story for decades, most ardently in 1969 immediately after the success of 2001: A Space Odyssey. Now, more than 50 years after Kubrick first expressed interest in the project, the story of Napoleon may finally get its definitive film adaptation.
“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,” Scott told Deadline in 2021, when the project was first announced. “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,” he added.
- Disney Plus, Hulu are getting major price hikes (because Disney really wants you to try the new Disney Plus bundle)
- The 15 best Netflix original movies for you to watch right now
- The 13 best movies of the 2000s you should watch (or rewatch)
- 10 great movies like Indiana Jones for you to stream next
- 10 incredible LGBTQ movies you need to stream right now