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Joaquin Phoenix
Joaquin PhoenixWikimedia Commons

Joaquin Phoenix will play Napoleon Bonaparte in Ridley Scott’s Kitbag

The film will explore the French military leader’s personal life and tumultuous relationship with his wife, Josephine

20 years after Joaquin Phoenix appeared as the Roman emperor Commodus in Ridley Scott’s Gladiator, it’s been announced that he will once again pair with the director to portray another famous emperor: this time, Napoleon Bonaparte.

The upcoming biopic, Kitbag – a title that references the saying that “there is a general’s staff hidden in every soldier’s kitbag”, according to Deadline – will reportedly focus on the personal life of the French military leader. More specifically, the film will explore Napoleon’s swift and ruthless rise to power, and the unstable relationship he had with his wife, Josephine.

Screenwriter David Scarpa is developing the script for the Napoleonic “epic”, having previously worked with Scott on the 2017 film All the Money in the World. Before Kitbag however, Ridley Scott is set to shoot Gucci, in which Lady Gaga will portray Patrizia Reggiani, the wife (and later the convicted murderer) of Maurizio Gucci, grandson of the label’s founder, Guccio Gucci.

Production on Gucci is slated to begin in Italy in early 2021. On top of Lady Gaga, Adam Driver, Jared Leto, Al Pacino, and Robert De Niro were announced to be in talks to join the film’s cast back in August.

Since winning an Academy Award for his leading role in Joker in 2019, Phoenix has starred in a short Extinction Rebellion film about the climate emergency, titled Guardians of Life.