Special things happen when Ridley Scott sets his sights on history. Sometimes, you get Gladiator – a thunderous, immersive, near-mythical tale that ensures you are entertained. Sometimes, you get the grand sweep of Kingdom Of Heaven (the director’s cut, in particular) – an epic evocation of the Crusades, packed with clashing swords and astonishing combat. Sometimes, you get The Last Duel – a psychological deep-dive told across multiple perspectives. Now, make way for Napoleon. Scott’s next historical epic looks to be all those things at once: a wild, non-typical biopic that breaks the rules to keep you hooked; a story told on a gigantic scale, with war, revolution and bloody battlefields; and, ultimately a scalpel to the psyche of Napoleon himself, and his tempestuous relationship with Joséphine de Beauharnais. The fuse is lit – get ready for the boom.
In the new issue of Empire, we take a world-exclusive journey inside into Napoleon with Scott, plus his two lead stars Joaquin Phoenix and Vanessa Kirby – getting the inside story on a huge new drama that burrows deep under the skin of its central figures. From the mercurial mindsets of Napoleon and Joséphine themselves, to the surprisingly swift shoot, to the mammoth undertaking of the production, and the blood-spattered legacy of its titular figure, get ready to charge into the heart of Scott’s latest saga. Packed with never-before-seen images, surprising historical revelations, and stories as only Ridley Scott can tell them, it’s the ultimate access to a major new event from one of cinema’s greatest filmmakers.
This month’s newsstand cover sees Joaquin Phoenix’s Napoleon himself – with that infamous bicorne hat – take centre stage.
And this month’s subscriber cover is a striking geometric vision of one of history’s wildest warmongers, illustrated exclusively for Empire by Noma Bar.
And that’s not all – in this month’s new-look Empire (yes, we’ve had the decorators in, and revamped the entire issue), we serve up an ace with erotically-charged tennis drama Challengers, talking to stars Zendaya, Mike Faist, and Josh O’Connor; get up close and personal with the incredible Emma Corrin; sit down with Denzel Washington and Antoine Fuqua to close the book on The Equalizer 3; explore the weird and wonderful world of Poor Things with Emma Stone and Yorgos Lanthimos; talk the life story of Rocket Raccoon with James Gunn; pay tribute to the legendary Bruce Lee with input from Hollywood’s top-tier action masters; plus, we head to the picket lines of the explosive Hollywood strikes, speaking to the stars and writers that are holding fast against a rapidly-changing tide in the industry. It’s an issue you won’t want to miss.
Stay tuned for more from Empire’s Napoleon issue, and track down a copy when it hits newsstands on Thursday 3 August. Become an Empire member to access the digital edition in full on launch day, or pre-order a print copy here. Napoleon comes to UK cinemas from 22 November and will stream globally on Apple TV+ following its exclusive theatrical release.
All interviews with actors and writers in this issue took place prior to the union strikes.