Ridley Scott‘s upcoming project with Apple, “Napoleon,” was almost four-and-a-half hours long! The official runtime has been cut down to trim 158 minutes. Scott himself says what was left on the cutting room floor was a “fantastic” over 4-hour cut. We’d like to ask, why didn’t they consider turning the project into a miniseries?!
Scott’s nearly 270 minute cut features a lot more of Joséphine’s life before meeting Napoleon. He would love to have Apple eventually screen the longer cut. The film stars Oscar winner Joaquin Phoenix (“Joker“) as the French emperor, with Vanessa Kirby (“The Crown“) playing his wife Joséphine de Beauharnais.
While speaking with Empire, Scott, Phoenix, and Kirby had a lot to say about the film. Scott reflected on how Phoenix still felt “clueless” about his role two weeks before filming began. The two would spend the following 10 days talking about each scene. Scott would call Phoenix “the best player of damaged goods,” perfect to cast as the emperor. “Joaquin studies the psyche, and the psyche of Napoleon is so strange,” Kriby said.
Phoenix said choosing to work on another film with Scott wasn’t a difficult choice. The two last worked together on “Gladiator,” staring Russell Crowe. “The truth is, there was just a very nostalgic idea of working with Ridley again,” Phoenix said. “He’s approached me about other things in the past, but nothing that felt like it would ne as demanding for both of us.”
[Editor’s note: And as we know with Scott’s lengthy director’s cuts (“Kingdom of Heaven,” anyone?!), they’re generally pretty awesome. DO IT, YOU COWARDS.]
“Napoleon” hits theaters November 22nd, 2023.