Baz Luhrmann Wanted For Napoleon Miniseries

Steven Spielberg is producing the planned HBO show

Turn the dial on your memory back to March of this year, when the surprising news came that Steven Spielberg was developing another project originated by Stanley Kubrick, who famously provided the basis for A.I. In this case, it was his long-cherished Napoleon project, which Spielberg had decided to turn into a miniseries. Now we know who is in his sights to direct it: Baz Luhrmann.

According to Deadline, it’s early days for any deal, but the Great Gatsby director is in line to take on what could become the biggest and most high-profile project for American cable channel HBO in recent memory. The original vision for Napoleon is quite possibly the most famous unfinished film in Kubrick’s archive. He wrote the script in 1961 after ploughing months into research and gathering thousands upon thousands of location photos, slides and pages of notes about the idea.

Yet MGM and United Artists, which were to have produced the eventual film, backed down due to the high cost and fears that big period war epics failed to make their budgets back. Kubrick held on to the idea, writing further drafts, but never managed to get it made.

How much of the incredibly dense research will make it into the miniseries remains to be seen, and there have been no announcements about who will take on scripting duties. As for Napoleon himself, the French war leader and Emperor’s life is stirring up plenty of other interest, with Warner Bros. hiring Snow White And The Huntsman director Rupert Sanders to tackle a biopic. The arms race for Bonaparte could be on…