entertainment

French Revolution recreated on set of Ridley Scott's upcoming Apple+ historical drama Napoleon


The cast and crew of Sir Ridley Scott’s historical drama about Napoleon Bonaparte were taken back in time as they filmed scenes on location in Oxfordshire on Friday.

Expected for release next year, a camp of white tents and multiple French flags were seen flying as scenes were filmed this week.

Extras were seen dressed in military uniforms typical of the French Revolution era during which Napoleon was the de facto leader of the French Republic as First Consul from 1799 to 1804.

Remaking history: The cast and crew of Sir Ridley Scott's historical drama about Napoleon Bonaparte were taken back in time as they filmed scenes on location in Oxfordshire on Friday

Remaking history: The cast and crew of Sir Ridley Scott’s historical drama about Napoleon Bonaparte were taken back in time as they filmed scenes on location in Oxfordshire on Friday

Extras were seen on horseback as they acted out the Revolutionary Wars while standing in a realistic camp in a battlefield.

A number of big names are attached to the Apple+ movie, including Joaquin Phoenix, 47, in the titular role of Napoleon.

Vanessa Kirby is to replace Jodie Comer in the project, which was formerly known as Kitbag.

Setting the scene: Expected for release next year, a camp of white tents and multiple French flags were seen flying as scenes were filmed this week

Setting the scene: Expected for release next year, a camp of white tents and multiple French flags were seen flying as scenes were filmed this week

Movie magic: Cast members were seen on horseback as they acted out the Revolutionary Wars while standing in a realistic camp in a battlefield

Movie magic: Cast members were seen on horseback as they acted out the Revolutionary Wars while standing in a realistic camp in a battlefield

Battle: Extras dressed in military wear typical of the French Revolution era during which Napoleon was the de facto leader of the French Republic as First Consul from 1799 to 1804

Battle: Extras dressed in military wear typical of the French Revolution era during which Napoleon was the de facto leader of the French Republic as First Consul from 1799 to 1804

All stars: A number of big names are attached to the Apple+ movie, with Joaquin Phoenix, 47, in the titular role of Napoleon

All stars: A number of big names are attached to the Apple+ movie, with Joaquin Phoenix, 47, in the titular role of Napoleon

Acting out: Vanessa Kirby is to replace Jodie Comer in the project, which was formerly known as Kitbag

Acting out: Vanessa Kirby is to replace Jodie Comer in the project, which was formerly known as Kitbag

Telling the tale: The 33-year-old actress will play Josephine in the historical epic which centres on Napoleon's rise on the battlefield and in politics

Telling the tale: The 33-year-old actress will play Josephine in the historical epic which centres on Napoleon’s rise on the battlefield and in politics

Plot: The story is set to focus on the passionate love between Napolean and Josephine in the film

Plot: The story is set to focus on the passionate love between Napolean and Josephine in the film

Clash: Killing Eve star Jodie, 28, was forced to drop out of the project because of a scheduling conflict with her theatre debut in London's West End show Prima Facie

Clash: Killing Eve star Jodie, 28, was forced to drop out of the project because of a scheduling conflict with her theatre debut in London’s West End show Prima Facie

The 33-year-old actress will play Josephine in the historical epic which centres on Napoleon’s rise on the battlefield and in politics, while focusing on the passionate love between him and Josephine.

Killing Eve star Jodie, 28, was forced to drop out of the project because of a scheduling conflict with her theatre debut in London’s West End show Prima Facie, with the star and describing the situation as ‘rubbish’.

She told The Hollywood Reporter’s Awards Chatter podcast: ‘Unfortunately, due to Covid and changes of schedule, I don’t think I can make Kitbag work right now due to a scheduling conflict.’

Gutted about it: Jodie said she thought her not being able to appear in the film was 'rubbish' earlier this year

Gutted about it: Jodie said she thought her not being able to appear in the film was ‘rubbish’ earlier this year

Unfortunate: She told The Hollywood Reporter's Awards Chatter podcast: 'Unfortunately, due to Covid and changes of schedule, I don't think I can make Kitbag work right now'

Unfortunate: She told The Hollywood Reporter’s Awards Chatter podcast: ‘Unfortunately, due to Covid and changes of schedule, I don’t think I can make Kitbag work right now’

Steamy scenes? Sources previously indicated that the part would be Jodie's raunchiest role yet

Steamy scenes? Sources previously indicated that the part would be Jodie’s raunchiest role yet

Stepping in: Although Vanessa – whose previous credits include The Crown and Hobbs & Shaw – will now take on the responsibility of portraying Napoleon's lover

Stepping in: Although Vanessa – whose previous credits include The Crown and Hobbs & Shaw – will now take on the responsibility of portraying Napoleon’s lover

Speaking out: An insider said last year: 'Jodie has done sexy roles before but nothing like this, it's really pushing the boundaries'

Speaking out: An insider said last year: ‘Jodie has done sexy roles before but nothing like this, it’s really pushing the boundaries’

Sources previously indicated that the part would be Jodie’s raunchiest role yet, although Vanessa – whose previous credits include The Crown and Hobbs & Shaw – will now take on the responsibility of portraying Napoleon’s lover.

An insider said last year: ‘Jodie has done sexy roles before but nothing like this, it’s really pushing the boundaries. But she felt it was right for the character and has thrown caution to the wind on it.’

The drama about Napoleon Bonaparte will look at the French leader’s climb to power through the lens of their volatile relationship.

Inside information: They added: 'But she felt it was right for the character and has thrown caution to the wind on it'

Inside information: They added: ‘But she felt it was right for the character and has thrown caution to the wind on it’

Rising up: The drama about Napoleon Bonaparte will look at the French leader's climb to power through the lens of their volatile relationship

Rising up: The drama about Napoleon Bonaparte will look at the French leader’s climb to power through the lens of their volatile relationship

Insight: Napoleon and Josephine's relationship is described as, 'addictive and often volatile,' with Josephine said to be his, 'one true love'

Insight: Napoleon and Josephine’s relationship is described as, ‘addictive and often volatile,’ with Josephine said to be his, ‘one true love’

Booking them in: Apple Studios picked up the project in October 2020 with Sir Ridley coming aboard to direct, reuniting with his Gladiator star Phoenix

Booking them in: Apple Studios picked up the project in October 2020 with Sir Ridley coming aboard to direct, reuniting with his Gladiator star Phoenix

Personal interest: Speaking about the film, Sir Ridley said: 'Napoleon is a man I've always been fascinated by'

Personal interest: Speaking about the film, Sir Ridley said: ‘Napoleon is a man I’ve always been fascinated by’

Passion behind his work: 'He came out of nowhere to rule everything –but all the while he was waging a romantic war with his adulterous wife Josephine,' he added

Passion behind his work: ‘He came out of nowhere to rule everything –but all the while he was waging a romantic war with his adulterous wife Josephine,’ he added

Napoleon and Josephine’s relationship is described as, ‘addictive and often volatile,’ with Josephine said to be his, ‘one true love’.

Apple Studios picked up the project in October 2020 with Sir Ridley coming aboard to direct, reuniting with his Gladiator star Phoenix.  

Speaking about the film, Sir Ridley said: ‘Napoleon is a man I’ve always been fascinated by.

Leading the way: Joaquin Phoenix is set to play the titular character in the movie (pictured at the Oscars in 2021)

Leading the way: Joaquin Phoenix is set to play the titular character in the movie (pictured at the Oscars in 2021)

Historical figure: Napoleon Bonaparte, pictured here, succeeded in transforming France into a continent-spanning empire and was well known for his military expertise

Historical figure: Napoleon Bonaparte, pictured here, succeeded in transforming France into a continent-spanning empire and was well known for his military expertise

Prioritising: Jodie (left) put stage before silver screen by pulling out of the film after signing up to play Empress Josephine (pictured in September)

Taking the reins: Fellow Briton Vanessa Kirby, who was Princess Margaret in the first two series of The Crown, will now portray Josephine, the first wife of Napoleon (pictured in October)

Prioritising: Jodie (left) put stage before silver screen by pulling out of the film after signing up to play Empress Josephine with Vanessa (right) taking her place (both pictured last year)

‘He came out of nowhere to rule everything –but all the while he was waging a romantic war with his adulterous wife Josephine.

‘He conquered the world to try to win her love, and when he couldn’t, he conquered it to destroy her.

‘No actor could ever embody Napoleon like Joaquin.’

The film is due to be released on Apple TV+ next year.

Director: The movie, Kitbag, was to be a reunion for the star and Sir Ridley (pictured November 2021) after they worked together on his 2021 film The Last Duel

Director: The movie, Kitbag, was to be a reunion for the star and Sir Ridley (pictured November 2021) after they worked together on his 2021 film The Last Duel



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