napoleon bonaparte, stanley kubrick

The things we know about Napoleon Bonaparte are as whimsical as they are varied — he was a military genius, was said to be a  slightly smaller than average fellow, and, if Baz Luhrmann is to be believed, a great lover of musicals peppered with equal parts opulence and insanity.

Deadline reports that the Great Gatsby director may soon bring his trademark fanfare to the small screen when he tackles a miniseries based on the French general’s life. In other words, Luhrman is “circling” the project!

The project, which will be produced by Steven Spielberg, is based on a script written by Stanley Kubrick in the 1970s — a project which became kind of Moby Dick-like for the great director of 2001 as he chased financing all over the world.  Before he died in 1999, Kubrick assured potential investors that the film, if they’d cough up the cash, could become “the best movie ever made.”

While sadly, Kubrick failed in his dream to bring Napoleon’s life — once described by the director as “an epic poem of action” — to the screen, Luhrmann’s bizarre vision for the project may have to suffice for now. The forthcoming project could easily go one of two ways: retreat into Lurhmann’s former style, a la Strictly Ballroom, his most stylistically simple film, or go headfirst into Gatsby territory, ruining an otherwise well-crafted story. Over the past decade, we’ve seen Baz’s love for the theatrical escalate to absurd new heights, so only time will tell how ridiculous he’ll allow himself to go.

Baz has hardly erred on the side of caution when it comes to his work in recent years, so we expect his take on Napoleon’s life will be nothing less than a Jay Z-sountracked mess of can-can girls. Perhaps the name of the battles Napoleon won will flash across the screen as scenes of drinking, gambling, and general debauchery play in the background. Perhaps every cannon will shoot glitter and champagne. Maybe every battle will take place on a field of trampolines. Or perhaps, in a trick he’s shown a recent fondness for, the entire miniseries will be presented in 3-D, with a soundtrack performed live by U2. Given his penchant for taking acid while making movies spectacle, the sky is the limit.

Although Kubrick’s projects are well-known for their particular brand of eccentricity, it remains to be seen if Baz’s love of all things garish will overwhelm Kubrick’s nuanced writing, or simply land Australia flat. Or, perhaps, we’ll just get another Marie Antoinette out of the deal. Lucky us?

It’s war all the time with non-stop tanks, generals, and aircraft carriers on the WW2 Channel via FilmOn.

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