‘He came from nothing. He conquered everything.’
One look at Joaquin Phoenix in the Bicorn hat is all we needed to get pumped for the upcoming Napoleon film. However, the recently dropped trailer has us ready to charge our local cinema like The Battle of the Pyramids in 1798. Just like his role in Gladiator, there’s something about the Oscar-winning actor playing a ruthless dictator that just works, and while we don’t want to jump the gun, another classic could be on the cards.
Orchestrated by the legendary Ridley Scott, Napoleon promises a spectacle-filled action epic that details the checkered rise of French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte. Giving us a taste of what’s to come, the first teaser highlights the vertically challenged man’s relentless pursuit of power through the prism of his volatile relationship with his one true love, Josephine (played by Vanessa Kirby). The nature of their love is perhaps best summed up in the clip when Kirby’s Josephine tells the tyrant that he’s ‘just a tiny little brute that is nothing without me’.
We also witness his visionary military and political tactics, set against the mesmerising backdrop of 18th-century France and various campaigns abroad. Promising ‘the most dynamic practical battle scenes ever filmed’, the vision of war on the snowy fields looks to have Scott’s exquisite filmmaking fingerprints all over it, and this writer is left stinging for more. Regarding his battlefield prowess, Phoenix’s Napoleon then states, “I’m the first to admit when I make a mistake; I simply never do”. LFG.
The upcoming feature will mark the first time Scott and Phoenix have teamed up since they made the classic Gladiator way back in 2000, so let’s hope they can recapture the magic once again. It will also see the reunion of the director and David Scarpa, who penned Scott’s 2017 film All the Money in the World and is collaborating with him on Gladiator 2.
Napoleon will exclusively hit cinemas on November 23, followed by its release on Apple TV+. Check out the trailer above.
Featured Video from Man of Many