Napoleon; Joaquin Phoenix, Cast, Release Date, Trailer, Everything We Know About Ridley Scott’s Latest Epic

He came from nothing, he conquered everything.

Napoleon; Joaquin Phoenix, Cast, Release Date, Trailer, Everything We Know About Ridley Scott’s Latest Epic

Photo by: Sony Pictures/Apple Original Films

The trailer has just been released for Napoleon, the latest cinematic epic from legendary director Ridley Scott, who reunited with his leading man, Joaquin Phoenix, over twenty years after the release of Gladiator in 2000. Here we go into everything we know ahead of the highly-anticipated cinematic release.

Napoleon promises to be another epic cinematic experience from the multi-award-winning director behind Gladiator and Blade Runner, the legendary Ridley Scott. Following the iconic French Emporer Napoleon Bonaparte, played by Oscar-winner Joaquin Phoenix, and his unrelenting pursuit of power.

Scott’s film will stay true to the events of Napoleon’s reign, from his early years in the French military, the Coup d’État of 18 Brumaire, the Napoleonic Code, The Napoleonic Empire through to the Hundred Days and the Battle of Waterloo.

Here’s everything we know about Ridley Scott and Joaquin Phoenix’s latest cinematic epic.

Joaquin Phoenix

Photo by: Sony Pictures/Apple Original Films

Lauded for his memorable and chilling performance as Commodus, the central antagonist to Russell Crowe’s Maximus in Gladiator, Joaquin Phoenix was able to expertly deliver an ambitious, apathetic Roman Emporer, both paranoid and dangerous, as he clutches on to his unrelenting lust for power.

It was celebrated as a defining performance in Phoenix’s career, and in subsequent films such as The Master, Her, You Were Never Really Here and, of course, Joker, complex, multifaceted characters quickly became synonymous with his extensive repertoire of strengths.

In 2003, Phoenix starred alongside Nicolas Cage in Matchstick Men, a quirky crime comedy centred around a pair of con artists. Phoenix’s character Roy is a small-time scammer suffering from OCD who specialises in confidence tricks, but Phoenix’s ability to bring humanity and depth to a nuanced character with complex psychological traits, such as Roy’s OCD, is a testament to his vast range and talent as an actor.

Ridley Scott

Image: Sony Pictures/Apple Original Films

From science fiction and historical epics to crime thrillers and wartime dramas, Scott’s storied genre-bending filmography is vast and celebrated, gracing the silver screens of Hollywood for almost 50 years; the famed British filmmaker Ridley Scott will be once again at the helm of another cinematic blockbuster.

This marks the first time in 20 years that Ridley Scott and Joaquin Phoenix have collaborated on a feature film, and the third film the pair have worked on together after their first cult classic Gladiator starring Russell Crowe alongside Phoenix.

Gladiator won the Oscar for Best Picture and Scott earned two awards, a Golden Globe and BAFTA Award, for Best Director.

Other notable work includes Alien, Blade Runner, Thelma & Louise, Gladiator, Black Hawk Down, Matchstick Men, American Gangster, Prometheus, The Martian and All the Money in the World.

Napoleon Movie Cast

Image: Sony Pictures/Apple Original Films

Starring alongside Phoenix’s Napoleon is the Academy Award-nominated Vanessa Kirby (Pieces of a Woman) as Joséphine Bonaparte, Napoleon’s wife and Empress of France.

Matthew Needham (Great Expectations) joins the cast as Lucien Bonaparte, Napoleon’s devoted brother who stayed by Napoleon’s side in Paris and the Hundred Days.

Tahar Rahim (The Serpent) will play Paul Barras, a prominent politician during the French Revolution, alongside English actor Ben Miles (Star Wars: Andor) as one of Napoleon’s closest military advisors, Caulaincourt.

Ludivine Sagnier, Youssef Kerkour and Phil Cornwell are all confirmed to be in Scott’s cast alongside Edouard Philipponnat, Paul Rhys, John Hollingworth, Gavin Spokes and Mark Bonnar as Jean-Andoche Junot.

Watch the Napoleon trailer below.

Where can I watch Napoleon?

Ridley Scott’s Napoleon will be available in cinemas on 22 November 2023, distributed by Sony Pictures Entertainment and Apple, for the cinematic release.

Napoleon will later stream on Apple TV+, although no date has been set.

Napoleon Movie Release Date

Napoleon releases in cinemas on November 22, 2023.

What is the Napoleon running time?

Napoleon will run for 2 hours and 38 minutes in cinemas, but director Ridley Scott, who’s renowned for delivering an extended or sometimes even alternative version for most of his more notable, has promised a four-and-a-half-hour long director’s cut when the film streams on Apple TV+.

Napoleon Filming Location

Image: Sony Pictures/Apple Original Films

Ridley Scott’s Napoleon was filmed entirely on location, with the legendary director utilising every inch of the vast natural, landscape to capture the scale of Napoleon Bonaparte’s epic saga.

According to IMDB, Napoleon was primarily filmed in Paris, France and Lincoln, Surrey and Oxfordshire in England, UK. Other filming locations are Kalkara, Malta and the Merzuga Desert in Morocco.

Is Napoleon based on a true story?

Image: Sony Pictures/Apple Original Films

Yes, Ridley Scott’s Napoleon will take a personal look at Napoleon Bonaparte’s origins from a young officer in the French military and his swift, ruthless climb to French General. Scott’s film will explore Napoleon’s passionate, explosive and volatile relationship with his wife, Josephine.

Born in Corsica in 1769, Napoleon Bonaparte received a military education in mainland France and quickly rose through the ranks of the French army during a period of profound political change.

The French Revolution, which began in 1789, played a pivotal role in Napoleon’s rise to power. A young officer, aged just 20 years old, Napoleon’s trajectory was inspired by the revolutionary ideals of liberty and equality; his early conquests and defeats of Italian and Austrian armies earned Napoleon fame and recognition along his all-conquering path.

The turning point in Napoleon’s career was the Coup d’État of 18 Brumaire in 1799, where he, along with other key figures including Emmanuel Joseph Sieyès, Pierre-Roger Ducos and Charles-Maurice Talleyrand-Perigord, seized control, effectively ending the turmoil of the French Revolution.

This event marked the beginning of the Consulate government, with Napoleon serving as First Consul, making him the de facto ruler of France.

How tall was Napoleon?

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Napoleon Bonaparte was shorter than the average height of his time and considerably shorter than the average male today. Whilst historians can debate Napoleon’s exact height, it’s understood he was around 5 feet 6 inches (about 1.68 meters) tall, earning him the moniker, “The Little Corporal.”

Napoleon’s height inspired the now famous term, “Napoleonic complex”, which is widely used for short men who have a tendency to overcompensate for their height by seeking positions of power and exhibiting atypically assertive behaviours.