The new film will be released in UK cinemas on November 22, before hitting streaming service Apple TV+ at a later date. It sees Phoenix star as Napoleon Bonaparte.
A synopsis for the film reads: “Napoleon is 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, Joséphine.
“The film captures Napoleon’s famous battles, relentless ambition and astounding strategic mind as an extraordinary military leader and war visionary.”
The first trailer gives the first look at Phoenix’s transformation into the French war general, as he marshals his troops through bloody battle.
See the trailer above.
Directed by Oscar-winning filmmaker Scott from a screenplay by David Scarpa, who has also written the upcoming sequel to Scott’s 2000 epic Gladiator, the movie is Scott’s first in two years after acclaimed crime drama House Of Gucci. Opposite Phoenix, Vanessa Kirby will star as Empress Josephine, with a cast rounded out by Ben Miles, Tahar Rah, Ludivine Sagnier and John Hollingworth.
Phoenix previously worked with Scott more than 20 years ago on the set of the classic 2000 film Gladiator. He played villainous emperor Commodus.
Napoleon began production in February 2022, and wrapped filming within the same year.
In an interview with Empire, Scott discussed how casting Phoenix led him to rewrite the script for the film midway through production.
“Joaquin is about as far from conventional as you can get,” the director said. “Not deliberately, but out of intuition. That’s what makes him tick. If something bothers him, he’ll let you know. He made [Napoleon] special by constantly questioning.
“With Joaquin, we can rewrite the goddamn film because he’s uncomfortable. And that kind of happened with Napoleon. We unpicked the film to help him focus on who Bonaparte was. I had to respect that, because what was being said was incredibly constructive. It made it all grow bigger and better.”