Movies Review

Napoleon: Ridley Scott has a four-and-a-half-hour director’s cut of the historical epic

Ridley Scott has a four-and-a-half-hour director’s cut of Napoleon and hopes that Apple will eventually release it.

Napoleon, director's cut, Joaquin Phoenix, Ridley Scott

Perhaps more than any other filmmaker, Ridley Scott has thoroughly embraced the use of the director’s cut. Many of his movies have received the director’s cut treatment, including Blade Runner, Legend, and Kingdom of Heaven, and it sounds like his upcoming Napoleon movie will as well.

While speaking with Empire Magazine (via World of Reel), Ridley Scott said he has a “fantastic” director’s cut of Napoleon which is nearly four-and-a-half hours. There is no word on if or when it will be released, but Scott hopes that Apple will eventually screen it.

Napoleon’ is almost three hours long, although Scott has a “fantastic” near four-and-a-half-hour cut, which features more of Joséphine’s life before she meets Napoleon. He’d love Apple (who funded the film) to eventually screen it. But what they have now is hardly slight. “It’s an astonishing story,” Phoenix says of Napoleon’s life. “Hopefully we captured some of the most interesting moments.”

While some of Ridley Scott’s director’s cuts haven’t done much to change the film beyond adding a few extra scenes, others have been completely transformed. Kingdom of Heaven is probably the best example of this. The theatrical version of Kingdom of Heaven received mixed to negative reviews, but the director’s cut flipped the script entirely. Character relationships were properly fleshed out, significant subplots were added, and the film finally felt like the complete epic it should have been from the very beginning.

Napoleon stars Joaquin Phoenix as the French emperor and military leader and offers an “original and personal look at Napoleon’s origins and his swift, ruthless climb to emperor, viewed through the prism of his addictive and often volatile relationship with his wife and one true love, Josephine, played by Vanessa Kirby. The film captures Napoleon’s famous battles, relentless ambition and astounding strategic mind as an extraordinary military leader and war visionary.” Ridley Scott directed the film from a screenplay by David Scarpa.

Napoleon will debut in theaters on November 22nd before streaming globally on Apple TV+.

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