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Well That's Just Dynamite: Napoleon Getting a Film

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Industry | November 13, 2013 |

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Industry | November 13, 2013 |

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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Steven Lloyd Wilson is the sci-fi and history editor. You can email him here or follow him on Twitter.