HBO News Blog

NAPOLEON Miniseries Not Dead As Fukunaga Circles To Direct

By Jef Dinsmore on May 23, 2016 to HBO News

NapoleonHBOWatch jumped on the news of a cinematic biography of Napoleon Bonaparte as soon as we heard. That was back in 2013 with Baz Luhrmann interested. Three years later and we are no closer to product, but now Cary Fukunaga is showing interest in picking up the mantle. We can only hope it is so.

The project is still based on all of Stanley Kubrick’s research and rough script outlines. Steven Spielberg and Amblin Television are still behind it. It has been a slow progress, evidently, to sift through Kubrick’s notes and materials, and the production wants to very much hold fast to that existing research that is in the hands of Kubrick’s estate. As Kubrick would have wanted this would be the definitive story of the French Emperor.   

We also can’t help but think that Cary Fukunaga (pictured) would be a great director for the project. He is acclaimed for the picture Beasts Of No Nation and HBO fans know him as the sole director of Season One of TRUE DETECTIVE. His cinematic eye is one to watch out for and hopefully, he will take on this project. His commitment just might help to move this epic miniseries move along.

People_CaryFukunagaYou can be sure that the six-hour historical piece is not going to be an easy project to wield. Spielberg is certainly capable of producing it and writer David Leland has got to be hard at work on the task of penning the screenplay. With the addition of Kubrick’s input, chronicled in the book “Stanley Kubrick’s Napoleon: The Greatest Movie Never Made” should make one amazing HBO event.

HBO needs this type of big programming also. With any lock on premiere dates for LEWIS AND CLARK and THE MIGHTY EIGHTH in limbo right now to know that Amblin’s production of NAPOLEON was a go would look good for the network. Again, we can hope the project moves forward with Fukunaga behind the camera.

(Source: THR)     

  • Ryo Shenmue

    Spielberg having contacted Baz Luhrmann was already disproven, though. Luhrmann was said to be interested in a different Napoleon project that didn’t have anything to do with Stanley Kubrick’s Napoleon. Also, Spielberg made it clear that no one would have been allowed to touch Kubrick’s script. There were rumors of Andrew Roberts being involved in the process simply to update the screenplay and add more story to the part of Napoleon’s youth(the original screenplay was written for a film after all and not a miniseries). It’s not clear if Fukunaga would be attached to the Luhrmann project, which is not the Stanley Kubrick’s one, or the REAL Napoleon, but in any case he’d be a terrible choice. He’s an overrated director who lacks visual ambition and would never be able to handle all of the Kubrck-shots included in the script. So many of the scene the man wrote were full of genius composition that could never be written out of the story and Fukunaga’s eye for composition is just embarrassing. Amateurish at best.

  • Ellie Wilkin

    Okay well this is certainly better news than BAZ LUHRMANN which would have been catastrophic. Still, i can’t help but feel making Kubrick’s version of this film is a bad idea, I’m all for a Napoleon mini-series but what benefit is there to making Kubricks? I don’t know, I’m a huge Kubrick fan and i just don’t feel good about it.

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