Steven Spielberg is set to bring Stanley Kubrick’s unfilmed screenplay about the life of Napoleon to the small screen.
Interviewed by Canal Plus on French TV at the weekend [segment begins at 9:14], Spielberg said he was working on a TV series in conjunction with the late film-maker’s family. “I’ve been developing a Stanley Kubrick screenplay for a miniseries – not for a motion picture – about the life of Napoleon,” he said.
Kubrick is said to have abandoned his long-gestating screenplay about the French revolutionary hero turned conqueror of Europe in the 1970s after Hollywood studios refused to fund it. Kubrick is said to have engaged in meticulous research for his planned film, with Oskar Werner and Audrey Hepburn offered the leading roles. “It’s impossible to tell you what I’m going to do except to say that I expect to make the best movie ever made,” he wrote to studio executives in 1971.
Spielberg has previously adapted an unrealised Kubrick project in the form of the 2001 science fiction drama AI, starring Haley Joel Osment and Jude Law, two years after Kubrick’s death. The Schindler’s List director also has form on the small screen with the critically acclaimed HBO TV miniseries Band of Brothers and is planning a second wartime series with Tom Hanks for the US channel. It is not clear how far down the line Spielberg is with his version of the Napoleon story.
Spielberg was revealed last week as president of the jury for this year’s Cannes film festival. With his schedule currently clear following delays to sci-fi tale Robopocalypse, he will take the reins from 2012 president Nanni Moretti for the 66th edition of the festival in May.
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