Joaquin Phoenix becomes Napoleon in his new movie: Everything to know
Joaquin Phoenix is an esteemed actor who’s coming off of a Best Actor Academy Award win for his role in Joker. His upcoming film, Kitbag, will see Phoenix portray French emperor & military leader, Napoleon Bonaparte. Alien director Ridley Scott will be directing this upcoming film as well.
Apple Studios will finance and produce Kitbag after making a deal with Scott’s production company, Scott Free. Here is everything to know about this upcoming Napoleon film starring Phoenix.
What is Kitbag?
Kitbag is an upcoming biopic about Napoleon Bonaparte which will star Phoenix as the French leader. According to Deadline, Kitbag is “an original and personal look at Napoleon’s origins and his swift, ruthless climb to emperor, viewed through the prism of his addictive and often volatile relationship with his wife and one true love, Josephine.”
“Napoleon is a man I’ve always been fascinated by,” director Scott told Deadline. “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.”
While there have been depictions of Napoleon on film and television, there hasn’t been a mainstream film that takes an intimate look into his life. This Napoleon will be ruthless, unlike his comical depiction in Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure. Scott knew Phoenix would be perfect for the role after Scott worked with Phoenix in his Best Picture winner, Gladiator, where Phoenix played the villainous Commodus.
“No actor could ever embody Napoleon like Joaquin,” Scott told Deadline. “He created one of movie history’s most complex Emperors in Gladiator, and we’ll create another with his Napoleon. It’s a brilliant script written by David Scarpa, and today there’s no better partner than Apple to bring a story like this to a global audience.”
Apple Studios upcoming films
This is another big financial commitment that Apple Studios is making for the Apple TV Plus streaming service. Along with Kitbag, Apple Studios acquired the world rights for Emancipation & Killers of the Flower Moon. Emancipation is directed by Antoine Fuqua and stars Will Smith as Peter, a runaway slave who must overcome murderous hunters and the treacherous terrain of Louisiana.
Killers of the Flower Moon is the latest from Martin Scorsese, starring both of Scorsese’s favorite actors, Leonardo Dicaprio & Robert De Niro. This latest Scorsese project has a budget of over $180 million.
In addition, Apple has had several significant movies premiere on Apple TV Plus, including Greyhound, On The Rocks, the animated Wolfwalkers, and the documentary Boys State. On Thursday, the trailer for Cherry dropped, a crime-thriller starring Tom Holland and the first film directed by the Russo brothers since Avengers: Endgame. Cherry will debut on Apple TV Plus in March.
Scott’s upcoming films
Scott, 83, has several of his own films coming out as well, in addition to Kitbag. The director recently wrapped production on The Last Duel, another film about French history that reunites Matt Damon & Ben Affleck, along with co-stars Adam Driver & Jodie Comer.
In March, Scott begins production on Gucci, which stars Lady Gaga as Patrizia Reggiani, who became known as “Black Widow” for organizing the murder of her husband. The film also has a killer cast including De Niro, Driver, Al Pacino, Jared Leto, and Jeremy Irons.
Joaquin Phoenix has proven himself to be an incredible actor and his Napoleon performance will be memorable. Production on Kitbag will begin in early 2022, so we still have a long time to wait until Kitbag debuts.