When Stanley Kubrick died, he left a pile of unfinished projects on his desk. Steven Spielberg brought one such project to life when he turned Haley Joel Osment into a creepy boy robot in 2001’s A.I. Artificial Intelligence.
Now, it would appear another unfinished work might find a new life: Kubrick’s exhaustively researched and meticulously planned biopic of the notorious French ruler Napoleon Bonaparte.
Shortly after 1968’s 2001: a space odyssey, Kubrick hit the books, wrote a preliminary screenplay, scouted locations, and even enlisted the help of the Romanian army to make this sucker as legit as possible.
Unfortunately, a mix of costs and the commercial flop that was Sergei Bondarchuk’s Waterloo turned Kubrick away, and he went on to shoot 1971’s A Clockwork Orange and 1975’s Barry Lyndon, instead.
But all that research remains, and it’s just been sitting there collecting dust. That was until three years ago when Spielberg was eyeing the project for TV, in addition to Moulin Rouge director Baz Luhrmann.
Obviously, nothing came to fruition, but interest has reportedly stirred up once more.
Author Filippo Ulivieri recently attended a Kubrick retrospective at De Montfort University, where Kubrick’s brother-in-law Jan Harland elaborated on the Napoleon project. Here’s what he wrote on his Tumblr:
Jan Harlan, Stanley Kubrick’s executive producer, revealed some juicy news about Napoleon, Kubrick’s greatest unmade film. During the conference “Stanley Kubrick A Retrospective” held at the De Montfort University in Leicester, UK, last week, he said the project is going to happen as a HBO 6 hours miniseries, directed by Cary Fukunaga, with a script by David Leland.
First off, if this is true, major points once again for HBO. But also, that’s one hell of a follow-up for Fukunaga, whose since had a rocky past year what with leaving Stephen King’s It and Beasts of No Nation being virtually ignored at the Oscars.
But Spielberg, Fukunaga, and Kubrick? Uh, check please.
Update: The project is a go!
[Source: Dark Horizons]