Back to IndieWire

Baz Luhrmann Eyed To Direct Steven Spielberg-Produced & Former Stanley Kubrick Dream Project ‘Napoleon’ For HBO

Baz Luhrmann Eyed To Direct Steven Spielberg-Produced & Former Stanley Kubrick Dream Project 'Napoleon' For HBO

From Shakespeare to F. Scott Fitzgerald, from the outback of “Australia” to the dizzying heights of “Moulin Rouge,” whatever you can say about director Baz Luhrmann, lacking vision isn’t one of them. And perhaps in a strange way, his operatic scale and readiness to work on a huge canvas makes total sense for this next gig.

Deadline reports that things are being put together for Luhrmann to helm the Steven Spielberg-produced HBO miniseries biopic “Napoleon.” The project rises out of the ashes of Stanley Kubrick‘s long-developing, never made movie about the legendary French military leader. “I’ve been developing Stanley Kubrick’s screenplay — for a miniseries not for a motion picture — about the life of Napoleon. Kubrick wrote the script in 1961, a long time ago,” Spielberg said this past spring. But there are still a lot of questions to be answered.

Has any other writer stepped in on this new iteration? Does the production have access to the wealth of material Kubrick accumulated (enough that thre’s a book about his research)? How long will this miniseries actually be? Our guess is that until a director is locked down—Deadline notes “deals are a long way from being made”—those queries will go answered. But undoubtedly the combination of Luhrmann/Spielberg/Kubrick is pretty exciting. So we’ll see how this goes, and we’d guess so too will Rupert Sanders, who has a rival project brewing at Warner Bros.

This Article is related to: Television and tagged , , ,


Luis Berini

Carnahan with Ellroy's White Jazz, Ellroys Clandestine adaptation. So many dreamed projects.

Luis Berini

Or a Herzog version of Thomas Bernhards The Loser, Kauffman's Frank or Francis, Tarantino making a little gem in the mood of Jackie Brown with Jim Thompson's Savage Night or Pop 1280, Tender is the Night, A Goodbye film by Eastwood with Spike Lee, and Linklater tackling Philip's K Dick Again. And where's Richard Kelly?

Luis Berini

Didnt see this one coming. And I think its a great idea and many of you would be surpised of the guy's visuals, music and tone. Would probably be his darkest film ever.
Seems like Hollywood, who never left (99-2012 is the best decade of American Cinema since the 70s) is out of control now. I'd love to see that Chandler's "Trouble is my bussiness
s" Kubrick's "Lunatic at Large", Norton's "Motherless Brooklyn" and Beatty and Nolan's Howard Hughes projects come to screen.

oogle monster

I guess I will be one of the few supporters of this collaboration. Luhrmann may be a bit spastic in his vision but he has a unique vision, and I admire that. I can't say the same about half of the other directors listed in the comment section. Sure- they are talented and wonderful, but when did it become so unbearable, so upsetting to support a director who enjoys great romance, great tragedy and great visuals? Yes- Gatsby was a bit disappointing (I still think The Playlist was overly harsh in their review) but Moulin Rouge was spectacular (Romeo + Juliet was wonderful, Australia not so much). I think it's WAY too early to start criticizing this venture. I feel like the same attacks were launched at Joe Wright after Anna Karenina- which by the way, remains the most underrated film of 2012. I appreciate directors like Wright and Luhrmann- they make going to the movies an event, not a chore.


It's a nightmare.


Urgh! Horrible idea no hope to have Denis Villeneuve instead?


I've always wanted to see Napoleon battle to a Kanye West song.


How about Duncan Jones or Rian Johnson? Someone who has vision and works well with actors.

Luhrman would spend the entire time setting up complicated CGI tracking shots and forget to tell a story. He's like George Lucas with slightly better taste.


Wow. Not cool. Way to piss on Kubrick's grave, Spielberg and co. Have you not even a modicum of taste or discernment? Utterly pathetic and needless waste of extremely promising source material. Not to mention the betrayal of a great artist's legacy. Was M. Night Shyamalan not available? I mean, seriously guys, pull your heads out of your asses.


Can you say 'Butchered' ?


Allow me to be an enabler. I think Baz could pull this off decently. Separate your idea of it being Kubrick. He doesn't have the ability to make this because well he died, he also moved on from it long ago. Why hire someone to mimic Kubrick? If they were just doing an homage they'd probably fail more miserably. Just like AI was interesting segue of styles of Spielberg and Kubrick, couldn't a patchwork of Kubrick and Luhrmann be so much more interesting than someone hired to best to try BE Kubrick? Which is likely impossible anyhow….

I doubt that they'll be using a full Kubrick script. It'll go to other hands. Also, Luhrmann when he slows down has some pretty good drama and visual chops. Maybe with a mini-series runtime he won't feel the need to cram the start and end with all these bursts of bedazzled nonsense.

I think it could be interesting.


I just fantasized about this series being directed by PT Anderson and it made me so much less excited then I already was with this prospect.


kill me


His films are dog shit and this is a shame, but the likelihood they weren't going to utterly miss the mark on this were remote.


Anyone but Spaz Luhrmann.




Because obviously when I watch the calm, collected intelligence of a Stanley Kubrick production I think it needs more glitter, random flashbulbs going off at all times & Sean Combs inappropiately playing at full volume on the soundtrack to drown out the dialogue.


This is like going from Orson Welles to Joel Schumacher. They couldn't get Peter Weir for this thing? Spielberg couldn't just direct it himself?


do the producers have access to the wealth of material Kubrick accumulated? Um… if they didn't, they could probably start with that gigantic book that was published, that gathered much of the wealth of material that Kubrick accumulated.


Can't wait to see Josephine bumpin' to some "Magna Carta Holy Grail."

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *