Joaquin Phoenix to play Napoleon in Ridley Scott’s historical epic Kitbag

(Image credit: Warner Bros)

Hot off his award-winning performance in Todd Phillips’ Joker, Joaquin Phoenix is teaming up with legendary director Ridley Scott to explore the life and origins of Napoleon Bonaparte. According to Deadline, the historical epic will chart Napoleon’s rise to power while also examining his addictive and uneasy relationship with his wife, Josephine.

Scott is reteaming with screenwriter David Scarpa who penned the 2017 crime-thriller, All The Money In The World. It’s been 22 years since Phoenix last worked with the director on Gladiator and hopefully the project will be just as impressive.

The film’s title comes from the saying, “There is a general’s staff hidden in every soldier’s kitbag.” Phoenix is set to play the controversial military genius who commanded the French armies during the Revolutionary Wars before becoming the nation’s emperor in the early 1800s. The actor will next be seen in Mike Mills’ emotional drama C’mon C’mon, playing an artist travelling across the U.S. with his nephew.

Scott is no stranger to taking on ambitious historical action movies, and the filmmaker is showing no signs of slowing down at age 82, as he wrapped on The Last Duel this week. His next project, Gucci, is set to begin filming in Italy in 2021 and will see Lady Gaga portray Patrizia Reggiani, the woman who arranged the murder of Maurizio Gucci in 1995.

With the visionary’s schedule looking pretty busy, it’s also not clear when we’ll see another instalment in the Alien franchise, which Scott created. He recently suggested that the sequel might not revisit the characters from Prometheus or Covenant. 

Freelance Writer

Eammon is an experienced TV and movie journalist, who's written for Looper, Fandom, The Digital Fix, Radio Times, Zavvi, and GamesRadar over the years.