Apple TV+ has set the date for the theatrical release of Joaquin Phoenix’s historical epic Napoleon, Variety has reported. The movie will hit theatres in November, later this year, just in time for awards season, before being made available globally on the streaming service. The movie helmed by renowned director Ridley Scott will see Phoenix as the French emperor and military leader, and marks the second collaboration between the director and actor after the 2000 epic Gladiator.
Along with the release date, the makers also unveiled the first look at Phoenix in the movie. In the new image, he’s seen on a horseback with his men charging into battle. Along with taking a look at various wars fought by the historical figure, the movie will also take a look at his volatile relationship with his wife, Josephine, played by actor Vanessa Kirby.
What to Expect from Napoleon
In Gladiator, Ridley and Phoenix’s partnership garnered much praise for the duo as well as the actor’s first Oscar nomination. As for Napoleon, the movie was initially titled Kitbag and like the title, the actor and director retooled the script for better performance. Scott previously explained the process, saying, “Joaquin is about as far from conventional as you can get. Not deliberately, but out of intuition. That’s what makes him tick. If something bothers him, he’ll let you know.” He further noted Phoenix’s contribution by revealing,
“He made [Napoleon] special by constantly questioning. With Joaquin, we can rewrite the goddamn film because he’s uncomfortable. And that kind of happened with Napoleon. We unpicked the film to help him focus on who Bonaparte was. I had to respect that, because what was being said was incredibly constructive. It made it all grow bigger and better.”
Along with Phoenix and Kirby, the movie also casts Tahar Rahim as Paul Barras, Ben Miles as Caulaincourt, Ludivine Sagnier as Theresa Cabarrus, Matthew Needham as Lucien Bonaparte, Youssef Kerkour as General Davout, Phil Cornwell as Sanson ‘The Bourreau’, Edouard Philipponnat as Tsar Alexander, Paul Rhys as Talleyrand, John Hollingworth as Marshal Ney, Gavin Spokes as Moulins and Ian McNeice.
Scott directs from a screenplay by David Scarpa. The movie is a joint production between Apple Studios production and Scott Free Productions. Scott and Phoenix produce alongside Kevin Walsh and Mark Huffam while Michael Pruss and Aidan Elliott served as executive producers.
The movie will march to theaters on November 22 before hitting Apple TV+ on an undisclosed date.