‘Napoleon’: Ridley Scott teases ‘four-and-a-half-hour Director’s Cut’

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Joaquin Phoenix as Napoleon Bonaparte in a still from ‘Napoleon’

Joaquin Phoenix as Napoleon Bonaparte in a still from ‘Napoleon’
| Photo Credit: Sony Pictures

Ridley Scott fans know what to expect when the filmmaker hints at a Director’s Cut of a film – Blade Runner, Kingdom of Heaven, The Counselor, and many other films of Scott have benefitted from a special cut. Now, the filmmaker has revealed that Napoleon, his upcoming historical epic that will clock 158 minutes in the theatres, has a 270-minute-long Director’s Cut.

The September issue of Empire Magazine quotes Scott teasing this “fantastic” cut that he hopes Apple screens in the future. The cut, as lead actor Joaquin Phoenix reveals, “features more of Joséphine’s life before she meets Napoleon.” This of course isn’t to say that the version set to release in theatres in November will lack any and all ‘epicness’.

Produced by Apple Studios, Columbia Pictures, and Scott Free Productions, Napoleon is set to be released by Sony Pictures on November 22 in theatres before a streaming debut on Apple TV+. The trailer released by the studios showed a big-picture depiction of Napoleon’s rise to the throne and his eventual fall.

“It tells the story of the French emperor and military leader’s origins and swift, ruthless climb to the emperor. That is viewed through the prism of his addictive and often volatile relationship with his wife and one true love, Josephine. The film captures Napoleon’s famous battles, relentless ambition and astounding strategic mind as an extraordinary military leader and war visionary,” reads the description of the movie.

With a screenplay written by David Scarpa, the film has actor Venessa Kirby playing Empress Josephine. Tahar Rahim plays Paul Barras, Ben Miles plays Caulaincourt, Ludivine Sagnier plays Theresa Cabarrus, Matthew Needham plays Lucien Bonaparte, Youssef Kerkour plays Marshal Davout, Phil Cornwell plays Sanson ‘The Bourreau,’ Edouard Philipponnat plays Tsar Alexander, Paul Rhys plays Talleyrand, John Hollingworth plays Marshall Ney, Gavin Spokes plays Moulins and Mark Bonnar plays Jean-Andoche Junot.

The film has cinematography by Dariusz Wolski, music composed by Martin Phipps, and editing by Claire Simpson and Sam Restivo.

Napoleon is produced by Scott, Kevin Walsh, Mark Huffam and Phoenix. Michael Pruss and Aidan Elliott serve as executive producers.

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