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Apple Won’t Release Ridley Scott’s ‘Napoleon’ in 2022 Despite Reports

Sources close to the movie deny that the film starring Joaquin Phoenix will be ready for the 2023 Oscars.

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 02: Joaquin Phoenix attends the EE British Academy Film Awards 2020 at Royal Albert Hall on February 02, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Lia Toby/Getty Images)

Joaquin Phoenix

Getty Images

Napoleon” will not be premiering in 2022.

Despite a new report by The Ankler suggesting otherwise, IndieWire sources close to the Ridley Scott biopic deny that the film will be released by Apple Studios in December in order to qualify for the 2023 Oscars. A source also tells IndieWire that the movie, which began shooting in February and wrapped in Europe in May, is not finished with post-production.

Apple has not officially dated the film, even for 2023. Nor has Apple dated the Will Smith-led Civil War drama “Emancipation,” once thought to be an awards vehicle for the Oscars-tainted star.

“Napoleon” stars Joaquin Phoenix as Napoleon and Vanessa Kirby as his wife, Josephine. “All the Money in the World” screenwriter David Scarpa collaborates with producer Scott yet again for the feature.

Originally titled “Kitbag,” the film has been described 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. The movie intends to capture Napoleon’s famous battles, relentless ambition, and strategic mind as an extraordinary military leader and war visionary.

The film is produced by Scott and Kevin Walsh for Scott Free.

“Napoleon” comes on the heels of Scott’s “House of Gucci,” which was snubbed in the major categories the 2022 Academy Awards. Up next, Scott is set to helm his “Gladiator” sequel for Paramount Pictures, centered on Lucius Verus, the grandson of Marcus Aurelius played by Spencer Treat Clark in the original film.

Meanwhile, lead star Phoenix returns to the DC Extended Universe with “Joker: Folie à Deux,” reprising his Oscar-winning turn as Arthur Fleck, aka Joker. “House of Gucci” actress Lady Gaga plays Harley Quinn in the musical drama, which also stars Zazie Beetz, Catherine Keener, Brendan Gleeson, and Jacob Lofland.

Ryan Lattanzio contributed reporting.

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