Spielberg Developing Kubrick's Napoleon

As a TV miniseries...

Stanley Kubrick

It’s Spielberg! And Kubrick! Together again! Well, sort of… Since Stanley Kubrick has been dead since 1999, it’s really only Steven Spielberg working from one of the director’s unfinished projects much as he did with A.I. Which nonetheless makes it exciting to report that the man behind Lincoln says that he’s developing Kubrick’s passion project Napoleon as a TV miniseries.

Speaking with French network Canal+ (and spotted by the team at The Playlist), the director said little about the project save what it was and where he was intending for it to end up.

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.

But MGM and United Artists, which were to have produced the eventual film, refused 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. Alison Castle wrote a book about his quest, comprising just some of the material the obsessive Kubrick collected.

Whether Spielberg can actually get it to screens remains to be seen, but since this is the man with A) no little clout in Hollywood and B) a track record of producing great miniseries, it’s a potentially thrilling idea.

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