“Napoleon” It is an action-packed epic that details the rise and fall of the famous French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte.
Directed by Ridley Scott The film chronicles the titular warlord’s rise to power through the prism of his addictive and volatile relationship with his true love, Josephine, and showcases his wise military and political tactics alongside some of the most dynamic battle sequences ever filmed.
“When you shoot a war movie, the scale of all the activities is huge. I wanted to shoot it in one take. I had three hundred people, a hundred horses and eleven cameras on set. It was an amazing experience because I could have had something going on,” said the film director. “A good idea, or something else – a terrible idea.”
In an interview with Deadline, Scott revealed that he filmed “Napoleon” in just 62 days. He explained the speed of production for which he is famous: “Normally, a film like this requires at least 110 shooting days. Years ago, I discovered that eight cameras meant eight times faster work. Every production department had to adapt to my pace.” Years.
“A famous Welsh actor once said to me: ‘I like what you do because you do it so fast’. You have to know the geometry of the scene. If you don’t know it, you’ll be ahead at three in the morning.” Start the first take,” the director continued.
“Ridley Scott can make things that perhaps someone half his age couldn’t make. This is a spectacle on a scale and scope that we haven’t seen in years,” says Sony studio president Tom Rothman, suggesting that the film “Napoleon” could bring the famous director his first Oscar. In his career, the director who created cinema classics such as, among others: “Alien: Eighth Passenger of the Nostromo”, “Gladiator” whether “Blade Runner”.
At the film’s premiere released in July, we hear Radiohead’s song “National Anthem” in the background. The second trailer for “Napoleon” brought another musical surprise – this time the trailer’s musical sponsor was Black Sabbath, whose song “War Pigs” was used as a musical illustration of the on-screen events.
The Oscar winner played Napoleon Bonaparte Joaquin Phoenix. This was his second time working with Scott. More than twenty years ago, he was nominated for an Academy Award for his role as Commodus in Gladiator.
The actor argues that accepting the role did not require much thought from him. “The truth is, the opportunity to work with Ridley Scott again was a very nostalgic thought. The set of Gladiator was an amazing experience. I was young, and it was my first big production. I was really craving an experience like this or something similar,” said the star. “In the past, Ridley has offered to have different projects, but I thought it wasn’t demanding enough for both of us.”
However, as Scott revealed, filming with Phoenix almost never began. The reason was the actor’s serious doubts.
“There were two weeks until filming started, and Joaquin Phoenix came to me and said he didn’t know what to do. I said, ‘What?!’ And again he said he didn’t know what to do. “We sat there for ten days and went over every scene carefully. We kind of rehearsed it. We paid attention to every little detail,” the director said in an interview with Empire magazine.
Scott got into more trouble because of Phoenix. Earlier, in an interview, the director revealed that the script for the film “Napoleon” had to be written almost from scratch, because the actor had a lot of comments on the original version. “If Joaquin feels uncomfortable about something, we can of course rewrite the entire movie. Especially since his feedback was really constructive,” the creator said.
She is partnered with Phoenix in the role of Josephine Vanessa Kirby. I was replaced at the last minute Jodie Comer, who was originally supposed to play Napoleon’s lover. The film’s cast also includes, among others: Ben Miles, Ludivine Sagnier, Pure and merciful I’m Catherine Walker.
The creator of “Gladiator” praised the chemistry between Phoenix and Kirby. “There’s a kind of intimacy between them that can’t be faked. Vanessa has a special quality: she’s very intelligent. Josephine as a character was a woman focused on survival – smart and manipulative. There are moments when the two actors improvise and it happens. It was magic. They were ‘amazing’ together.”
In an interview with Empire magazine, Phoenix and Kirby admitted that they agreed to physical contact that was not present in the script to better convey the conflicting emotions that plagued their characters.
“[Kirby] “Listen, whatever you want, you can do,” she said. I said: You too. “You can slap me, you can grab me, you can pull me towards you, you can kiss me, anything else,” Phoenix revealed.
The actor admitted that he and his co-star wanted to surprise each other to create as many “new” moments as possible and thus move away from the typical historical film.
One such moment occurred when the couple was filming divorce scenes. As Kirby revealed, the actors used written words on the record. Then Phoenix started to improvise and slapped her once. “We encouraged each other, even demanded each other, to test each other, to shock each other,” she explained.
So the actress has nothing against Phoenix. For her, the above situation was evidence of the complete trust they had in each other while working on “Napoleon.” Thanks to him they were able to reach “the darkest places in the depiction of a doomed marriage.”
The actress said: “It’s great to say about your creative partner: ‘I feel safe, I’m with you.'”
Although there is still some time before the premiere of Napoleon, the first controversy related to the film is already here, as TV historian Dan Snow posted on TikTok his analysis of the announcement of Ridley Scott’s film. He pointed out several fallacies and distortions. For example, the future emperor was not present at the death of Marie Antoinette. He also did not order cannons to be fired at the pyramids.
In an interview with The New Yorker, the director was asked about these comments. He only had two words for Snow: “Get over it.”
This is not the first time Scott has addressed his critics in frank terms. He expressed a similar opinion in the past to people who accused him of not having minorities on the film crew “Exodus: Gods and Kings” From 2014.
While working on “House of Gucci” Members of the titular family accused Al Pacino of not looking like Aldo Gucci, who played him. Scott had some kind words for them. “Honestly, like [Aldo Gucci] Could he be played better than Al Pacino? I’m sorry. They’ve got the best actors in the world, they should […] Enjoy,” he thundered.
In turn, during promotions “The Last Duel” One journalist who interviewed the director noted that the film was much more realistic than the director’s previous films, for example. “Kingdom of Heaven” I “”Robin Hood””. Scott had a sharp response to that as well. He then replied: “Fuck you. Fuck you. Thank you very much. Fuck you. Go fuck yourself… Here you go.”
Ridley Scott’s last two films – the aforementioned “The Last Duel” and “House of Gucci” – despite good reviews, were not well received by the audience and were financial failures. However, Scott is not slowing down. “Napoleon” is not his only production that will see the light soon. Immediately after that, the Briton will direct the cult continuation of the “Gladiator”.
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