Ridley Scott Gushed About Joaquin Phoenix in Upcoming ‘Napoleon’ Film

USA News


  • Director Ridley Scott praised Joaquin Phoenix for his work on the upcoming film “Napoleon.”
  • The film will offer a look at Napoleon’s origins and rise to emperor when it arrives in 2023.
  • Because of Phoenix’s performance, the film was significantly retooled, according to Scott.

Director Ridley Scott, who previously worked with Joaquin Phoenix on the 2000 film “Gladiator,” had nothing but praise for the actor as their next upcoming collaboration approaches sometime in 2023. 

The upcoming Apple TV+ film, a drama simply titled “Napoleon,” centers on Napoleon Bonaparte, the French military general who swiftly rose to power following the French revolution and became emperor. 

In an interview with Empire, Scott discussed how Phoenix’s script notes and interpretation of the character of Napoleon were so helpful that the film was significantly retooled.  

“He made [Napoleon] special by constantly questioning,” Scott said, adding that Phoenix’s probing would often lead to major changes. “With Joaquin, we can rewrite the goddamn film because he’s uncomfortable. And that kind of happened with ‘Napoleon.’ I had to respect that, because what was being said was incredibly constructive. It made it all grow bigger and better.”

Scott was so impressed with Phoenix’s work on the film, he paid the actor quite possibly the highest possible compliment. 

“With Napoleon, I think we dug in and found the character, or as close to what he may have been,” he said. “Joaquin is probably the most special, thoughtful actor I’ve ever worked with.”

“Napoleon” has previously been described by Deadline as 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.”

A firm release date for “Napoleon” in 2023 has not been set. 



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