Steven Spielberg develops Stanley Kubrick's Napoleon in series

Steven Spielberg is preparing a series on Napoleon Bonaparte for HBO based on the script that Kubrick never filmed.

According to Deadline, it was during a press conference in Berlin that the director of AI and Ready Player One released the information: "We are in the process of mounting a major production for a series in 7 episodes for the American channel HBO from this screenplay written in 1961”.

Kubrick, again and again a source of inspiration

This is not the first time that the director has mentioned the project, he had already done so ten years ago. And it's not the first time either that he's adapted an unfinished project from the director's 2001, A Space Odyssey. Indeed, in 2001, Steven Spielberg directed AI, artificial intelligence based on another film never shot by Kubrick adapted from the new SuperToys Last All Summer Long by Brian Aldiss.

Already 7 years of preparation

The announcement is all the more to be taken seriously as Spielberg has reportedly been working on the subject with HBO for seven years. The series is in development and about to be green-lighted by HBO. The script from which the series is written was completed by Kubrick in 1969 and is 186 pages. To overcome it, the director of Full Metal Jacket read 500 books on Napoleon and then composed a film preparation file which contains no less than 15,000 photographs and 17,000 slides.

Certain battle scenes envisaged for the film would have required 40,000 extras at the time, and to embody Napoleon, Kubrick would have considered Al Pacino or Jack Nicholson for a time. To be continued, therefore.

Finally, the beautiful book "Napoleon" by Stanley Kubrick. The greatest film ever shot (photo below) is available from Taschen for an indicative price of €60, but probably not for very long now…