Ridley Scott wants Jodie Comer to star alongside Joaquin Phoenix in Napoleon biopic

Jodie Comer in Killing Eve
(Image credit: BBC)

Jodie Comer is set to star alongside Joaquin Phoenix in Ridley Scott's upcoming Napoleon Bonaparte biopic, Kitbag, according to Deadline.

Phoenix will play the French emperor and military leader, while Comer is Scott's first choice to take on the role of Bonaparte's wife, Empress Josephine. The movie will track the historical figure’s origins and ruthless rise to power, as well as his often volatile relationship with Josephine (although Empress Josephine was six years older than Napoleon, whereas Comer is 19 years younger than Phoenix). The title comes from the saying, “There is a general’s staff hidden in every soldier’s kitbag.”

Scott was reportedly blown away by Comer's performance in his upcoming movie The Last Duel, a historical thriller set in 14th-century France co-starring Matt Damon, Adam Driver, and Ben Affleck. Although the actor has risen to fame thanks to her starring role in BBC drama Killing Eve alongside Sandra Oh, Scott apparently had no idea who she was when he cast her in The Last Duel. 

Scott often re-teams with actors he's previously worked with – Phoenix played Roman Emperor Commodus in Scott's historical epic Gladiator. For Kitbag, the director is also re-teaming with All the Money in the World screenwriter, David Scarpa, who penned the script for the 2017 movie about the kidnapping of John Paul Getty III.

Kitbag has already been snapped up by Apple TV Plus, but the title doesn't have a release date yet. Production has yet to start, with Scott currently working on true crime drama Gucci, about the Italian fashion house boss’ murder. Filming is taking place in Italy at the moment and Jeremy Irons, Adam Driver, and Lady Gaga are starring.

While we wait for Kitbag to reach our screens, make sure you've caught up with all the best movies of 2020.

Entertainment Writer

I’m an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering everything film and TV-related across the Total Film and SFX sections. I help bring you all the latest news and also the occasional feature too. I’ve previously written for publications like HuffPost and i-D after getting my NCTJ Diploma in Multimedia Journalism.