Steven Spielberg confirms that legendary director Stanley Kubrick’s greatest unmade movie, Napoleon, will become an HBO limited series.

Steven Spielberg confirmed that he is involved in turning Stanley Kubrick’s greatest unrealized project, Napoleon, into an HBO limited series. Napoleon will not be Spielberg’s first attempt at reviving a Kubrick project. Spielberg also directed A.I. Artificial Intelligence in 2001, which Kubrick was unable to realize because of limited CGI technology at the time. Eventually, Kubrick handed the project off to Spielberg in 1995, with Spielberg staying close to Ian Watson and Kubrick’s original story treatment.


Speaking at the Berlinale International Film Festival in Berlin, Spielberg, who was there doing the rounds for his semi-autobiographical film The Fabelmans, spoke about the upcoming Napoleon series and what they’re planning to do with the Kubrick project (via Deadline). Check out what Spielberg said in the tweet below:

The acclaimed director said that he and his team were producing Kubrick’s unmade Napoleon project to become a seven-episode miniseries. Check out Spielberg’s full quote below.

“We are mounting a big production, with the cooperation of Christiane Kubrick and Jan Harlan, we’re mounting a large production for HBO based on Stanley [Kubrick]’s original script, Napoleon. So we are working on Napoleon as a seven-part limited series.”

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Everything We Know About Spielberg’s Napoleon

Napoleon Bonaparte riding a horse

Kubrick, who began working on Napoleon following the success of his 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey, intended it to be a large-scale biographical film when he conceived the idea. Kubrick did extensive research on Napoleon Bonaparte in preparation for what he expected to be one of the best movies. The production of Kubrick’s film was eventually cancelled due to the prohibitive costs associated with filming on location in France, the release of Sergei Bondarchuk’s similarly-themed epic War And Peace in 1968, and Waterloo’s commercial failure in 1970. Kubrick had already secured the commitment of around 50,000 Romanian soldiers for the battle scenes and intended the film to cast Jack Nicholson in the title role and Audrey Hepburn as Napoleon’s wife, Josephine.

The film remained in development hell for over 40 years before Spielberg announced his intention in 2013 to create a miniseries in conjunction with Kubrick’s family to use the director’s Napoleon script, which had since been published in comprehensive collections of Kubrick’s work. Director Baz Luhrmann, who directed the biopic film, Elvis, was originally pursued to direct the miniseries, but nothing came of that partnership. In 2016, HBO announced that it would produce the miniseries with David Leland as a writer and Cary Joji Fukunaga as the director.

It is unclear whether Fukunaga and Leland are still attached to the project, but the creative team seems promising for Napoleon. Fukunaga has already shown he can create a gripping narrative in a limited series format for HBO with his Emmy Award-winning work on True Detective season 1. He also directed Jane Eyre, which is set in the same epoch as the Napoleonic Wars, and he has experience directing in a war setting, as he did for the acclaimed Beasts Of No Nation.

More: Did Stanley Kubrick Fake The Moon Landing? That Bizarre Conspiracy Theory Explained

Source: Deadline

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