Steven Spielberg Gives An Update On His Series Based On Stanley Kubrick’s Napoleon

Steven Spielberg

by empire |
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If you cast your mind back to 2013, you might recall that Steven Spielberg was looking to bring another of Stanley Kubrick's unmade projects to screens following his work on A.I.. In this case, it was the deceased filmmaker's passion project Napoleon. Spielberg was envisioning a miniseries for HBO rather than a movie, and it appears that it's finally moving forward.

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.

True Detective’s Cary Joji Fukunaga was announced as director in 2016 with David Leland, creator of Showtime’s The Borgias set as writer. But there's no word yet whether either are still involved.

Speaking at the Berlin Film Festival, Spielberg offered an update. "With the co-operation of Christiane Kubrick and Jan Harlan, we’re mounting a large production for HBO on based on Stanley’s original script Napoleon. We are working on Napoleon as a seven-part limited series," the director said. Now, of course, we can all go back to waiting for this one.

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