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Steven Spielberg to develop a miniseries based on Kubrick's Napoléon


When speaking to French TV (probably about his presidency of the 66th Festival de Cannes), Steven Spielberg announced for the first time that he is working with Stanley Kubrick's estate to develop a miniseries centered on French emperor Napoléon Bonaparte (1769-1821).

For years, Stanley Kubrick worked on the pre-production of a massive film retracing Napoléon's life, but the film never got produced. There's even been a book about it, "Stanley Kubrick's Napoléon: The Greatest Movie Never Made", and Amazon's synopsis tells us a bit about what Spielberg is about to tackle :

For 40 years, Kubrick fans and film buffs have wondered about the director's mysterious unmade film on Napoléon Bonaparte. Slated for production immediately following the release of 2001: A Space Odyssey, Kubrick’s Napoléon was to be at once a character study and a sweeping epic, replete with grandiose battle scenes featuring thousands of extras.

To write his original screenplay, Kubrick embarked on two years of intensive research; with the help of dozens of assistants and an Oxford Napoléon specialist, he amassed an unparalleled trove of research and preproduction material, including approximately 15,000 location scouting photographs and 17,000 slides of Napoleonic imagery. No stone was left unturned in Kubrick's nearly-obsessive quest to uncover every piece of information history had to offer about Napoléon.

But alas, Kubrick’s movie was not destined to be: the film studios, first M.G.M. and then United Artists, decided such an undertaking was too risky at a time when historical epics were out of fashion.


52 years after this screenplay was written, this Napoléon epic may finally come to life on the small screen. 12 years ago, Spielberg also directed an unproduced Stanley Kubrick project, A.I - Artificial Intelligence.

Spielberg will probably executive produce this miniseries, and my guess is he will turn to HBO, where he has successful brought to life epic miniseries Band of Brothers and The Pacific, as well as an upcoming miniseries focusing on the aerial wars of WWII.

The part featuring Spielberg is at 9:15' :

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