The Big Picture
- Joaquin Phoenix portrays Napoleon Bonaparte in Ridley Scott’s upcoming epic Napoleon, showcasing the conqueror’s rise to power and military conquests.
- Newly released images show Phoenix as Napoleon riding a white steed and arriving in Moscow during the invasion of Russia, highlighting the destruction of war.
- The film will also explore Napoleon’s volatile romance with Empress Joséphine, played by Vanessa Kirby.
Human history is full of militaristic conquests and the expansion of empires. Napoleon, one of the highly anticipated projects of the year and director Ridley Scott’s latest epic, tells the tale of Napoleon Bonaparte. Leading the epic drama in the role of the titular conqueror, military commander, and leader of France is the Oscar-winning, Joaquin Phoenix. Very few generals across human history have commanded attention, while enjoying a meteoric rise quite like Napoleon. This has only gone on to fuel the enthusaism surrounding the film ahead of its release in November.
However, as we prepare for the movie’s arrival, Entertainment Weekly has released new images that show Phoenix as Bonaparte riding out to battle, and the evident destruction that war brings is equally shown. A pair of the images show Phoenix’s Napoleon riding a white steed in full military regalia and looking ever imposing. The images point starkly to comments from a teaser which previewed the titular conqueror’s coronation, where he is crowned as Emperor of the French. “You are the greatest leader in the history of the world, Napoleon,” a voice says in the teaser, as a testament to his military conquests.
These images also point to one of Napoleon’s greatest military decisions – the invasion of Russia. These images show the emperor’s arrival in Moscow, and the burning of the city despite it being deserted upon his arrival.
A Volatile Romance Will Take Center Stage in ‘Napoleon’
While Napoleon’s military brilliance and rise to power will be covered in the upcoming epic, his volatile relationship with his beloved empress, Joséphine portrayed by Vanessa Kirby will be equally explored. Speaking on the effort needed to be put into embodying the character, Kirby said “What was so challenging, and kind of elusive, about her, was that every single book, whether it was first-hand accounts, third-hand stories, documents, testimonies, and Napoleon’s letters… every single one was completely different.” She explained “She was just this massive contradiction. Every time I thought I’d locked down, ‘Okay, this is who she is, and I think I can get hold of this’, something would completely counteract it.”
Napoleon will see Phoenix and Scott work together on yet another battle epic after the pair collaborated on the 2000 film Gladiator. Alongside the pair of Phoenix and Kirby, the film which was originally titled Kitbag, will also star Ben Miles, Ludivine Sagnir, Matthew Needham, Tahar Rahim, Phil Cornwell, Edouard Philipponnat, and Youssef Kerkour. Napoleon will make its highly anticipated assault on theaters on November 22. The film is being distributed by Apple TV+ and will be available at a later date.
Check out the new images below: