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Well That's Just Dynamite: Napoleon Getting a Film

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Trade News | November 13, 2013 | Comments ()


Napoleons_retreat_from_moscow.jpg

Ah Napoleon, one of history’s succession of great generals who was shocked, shocked and appalled I tell you, to learn that Russia is cold.

He’s an interesting bloke, and it’s passing strange that there hasn’t been a proper film treatment of him, other than Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, and a famous 1927 film that made all sorts technical advancements in filmmaking. I find that somewhat interesting, but I have a passing suspicion that all films from before my birth are just elaborate ruses to trick me. Kubrick was working on a Napoleon film for many years, but funding was pulled after a film called Waterloo tanked, so we got Eyes Wide Shut instead, because the universe is cruel and malicious.

Rupert Sanders is set to direct a biographical film of the man. I suppose there are a number of Kristen Stewart jokes to insert at this point, but that would just be cheating. Oh hey, I didn’t get that joke myself until I gave this an editorial read through. Brain, you’re alright. But really, him? That sound you heard was all interest I had in the project deflating like an air mattress left with a bored house cat.

And Napoleon was this fantastic figure, a man who figured out the insane power of arming the masses with guns instead of relying on elite professional armies. He would never dream of holding an election, this emperor, but his people flocked to fight for him. Every time he lost an army, he just raised another one. The human cost of his ambitions was staggering, but as a charismatic man who changed the course of the world? That’s a story that needs told well.

THR reports that this film will take “a Scarface-like look” at Napoleon.

Oh fuck off, Hollywood, I’m out.



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Comments Are Welcome, Jerks Will Be Banned


  • Quatermain

    I'd pay good money to see a well-done movie about Napoleon. On a related note, you know what the BBC, or HBO, or somebody should do? Take Doyle's 'Brigadier Gerard' stories and make a series of movies or mini-series like they did with Cornwall's Sharpe novels.

  • BlackRabbit

    "It's French, b*tch!"

  • Yossarian

    I came here to upvote the first person who successfully made the "Say hello to my little friend" joke.

    I'm disappointed in all of you.

  • Mrs. Julien

    Dude, bleujayone made it EN FRANCAIS!

  • Yossarian

    Upvotes for bluejayone! Downvotes for Mademoiselle VanderHeyden, my high school french teacher. And to me for skimming.

  • Mrs. Julien

    Took care of that downvote for you.

  • Mrs. Julien

    Mr. Julien wrote a script specifically for Al Pacino to play Napoleon about 10 years ago. It got optioned with a director attached, we saw a drop of money, and then it went pear shaped.

    I HAVE A LOT OF FEELINGS ABOUT THIS NEWS!

  • OH MY GOD, MRS. JULIEN IS STANLEY KUBRICK'S WIDOW

  • Guest

    ...

  • Mrs. Julien

    We have a copy of the Kubrick script. Mr. J says it is a lot like Barry Lyndon in tone and atmosphere.

    He also has a copy of "Orson Welles #4".

  • bleujayone

    "...THR reports that this film will take “a Scarface-like look” at Napoleon."

    -A Russian hit squad is in the Emperor's throne room. They surround Josephine intending to discover Napoleon I's whereabouts. Jo-jo looks defiant.

    Josephine: "Dites bonjour à mon petit ami!"

    (Bad Daddy Nappy steps out of the shadows, pistols drawn and pointed at the Russian assassins, coke still dusting his nostrils)

    Napoleon: "Pensez-vous que vous pouvez me tuer? Vous auriez besoin d'une armée entière si vous étiez à tenter!"

    (Nappy lets loose a volley that cuts down the first two invaders and then in one spinning move drops both discharged guns and tears forth a short rapier from under his cloak and proceeds to eviscerate the remaining three)

    Napoleon: "Je suis Napoléon Bonaparte! Vas te faire encule avec moi, vas te faire encule le meilleur!"

    Josephine: "Pouvez-vous arrêter de dire ce mot tout le temps?"

  • Guest

    .

  • Mrs. Julien

    If there was still an EE, you would be number 1 with a bullet, dude.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    To be fair, it wasn't just that Russia was cold, it's that its people were willing to burn all of their food and completely flee and kinda starve so his army had nothing to eat.

  • koko temur

    THANK YOU. i always get a bit offended when the argument "its cold there" is used. Kinda undermines the russians BURNING MOSCOW TO THE GROUND just so the damn french would not get it. I mean, its bonkers, but a better story.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    Yeah, as defenses go, burning your city is pretty much all-in.

  • Mrs. Julien

    The soldiers actually cut meat off the horses haunches as they were walking.

    There is also a whole thing about their buttons being an issue, but I can't remember the specifics.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    Yes, that does ring a bell...

    soldiers ended up eating frozen dead soliders also. The loss of numbers for that campaign is just mind-boggling. AND that he ever managed to raise another army after it.

  • knifeyspoony

    http://bopressminiaturebooks.c...

    really neat little infographic charting the size of the French Army throughout that campaign.

  • BWeaves

    Ian Holm did a decent Napoleon in a British miniseries called "Napoleon and Love." However, it's very 1974 and stagey. All the action and big scenes happen off camera. And Bilbo is getting a bit too old for the part.

    You talk like there are no short actors in Hollywood.

    Tom Cruise was MADE for this short guy, jump on the couch, rule the world part.

  • I'd love his French. Craptacular!

  • BlackRabbit

    I dunno, Danny DeVito's getting kind of old to star in this kinda film. Really though, you'd think a French guy somewhere might be a better director for this?

  • John G.

    OH...Napoleon Dynamite, I get it.

  • John G.

    "Zat's vat I like, little singz 'itting each otha"

    http://www.ovguide.com/video/t...

  • Drew Morton

    No "What if" needed... Here it is!

    http://www.amazon.com/Stanley-...

    And now Spielberg is making it...

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/bro...

  • John W

    Stanley Kubrick. What if...

  • Berry

    And by the time this is reaches the theater near me, I will have made approximately twelve more attempts to finally finish watching that 1927 one, Abel Gance's behemoth of a supposed masterpiece. Those should get me at about 45 minute mark, with only 4 hours and 15 minutes left to go. Wohoo!

  • BWeaves

    I actually saw the 1927 version in the theater on a nice big screen with the original orchestral score. No, I'm not THAT old. It was rereleased sometime when I was in college.

    I agree, it's very bloated, and a rather boring by today's standards. Some movies you just have to watch with a different mindset.

  • Berry

    That would be the way to watch it. Did you get bathroom breaks? And do you happen to remember how long that version was? If I'm not much mistaken, there are at least three restorations of varying lengths. The longest might actually be even more than the five hours I'm trying to get trough.

  • BWeaves

    2 hours, intermission, 2 hours.

  • AvaLehra

    As if anything could top this: http://youtu.be/hfiubrwYhs8

  • BWeaves

    Is that theme music to Dallas?

  • emmalita

    Same era, but not the same music.

  • AvaLehra

    I mean, Jacqueline Bissett!

  • emmalita

    Armand Assante. In red velvet. My inner tween just woke up.

  • Mrs. Julien

    I always loved him.

  • AvaLehra

    Me too.

  • Berry

    That hair though.

  • AvaLehra

    No doubt!

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