While we are undoubtedly excited to have a new Steven Spielberg project underway, especially based on Kubrick’s acclaimed “Napoléon” script, this series has been developing for several years. He first announced plans to adapt the script into a limited series in 2013, although details provided at that time were very scarce. Regardless, development on the series was in full swing, with Baz Luhrmann even being eyed to direct the series. For undisclosed reasons, this very blessed and very cursed collaboration never came to be.
News on “Napoléon” slowed down after that for a couple of years. However, the discussion around it was again revived after it was revealed that Cary Joji Fukunaga was in talks to direct the series. Once again, news on the project slowed down tremendously, likely because of other projects Spielberg had taken on during development. With Warner Bros. Discovery canceling projects like they’re hotcakes over the past few months, it seemed like “Napoléon” was quietly among those that got the axe. Thankfully, that doesn’t seem to be the case.
If you were keeping track at home, “Napoléon” has been in the works at HBO for ten consecutive years. It has also been seven years since the last piece of information was dropped on it. It’s unknown whether Fukunaga was hired or is still attached, as Spielberg did not mention him during the Berlinale talk. However, what we do know is that nobody wants or should bet against Spielberg.