Final “Napoleon” Trailer Teases Ridley Scott’s Epic Take on the French Emperor’s Rise & Downfall
The final trailer for Ridley Scott’s Napoleon is here, giving us a last glimpse of his sweeping historical epic starring Joaquin Phoenix as the infamous French Emperor. Scott’s hugely ambitious take on a figure that filmmakers have been drawn to for decades has already earned its fair share of stellar reviews. “Scott has created an outrageously enjoyable cavalry charge of a movie, a full-tilt biopic of two and a half hours in which Scott doesn’t allow his troops to get bogged down mid-gallop in the muddy terrain of either fact or metaphysical significance,” writes the Guardian‘s Peter Bradshaw. Meanwhile, the two leads, Phoenix and Vanessa Kirby as Josephine, the love of Napoleon’s life, have astonished critics. “Phoenix, sometimes laugh-out-loud funny and chilling in the same scene, is as compelling as he always is,” writes the London Evening Standard‘s Hamish Macbain, “…But it’s Vanessa Kirby who, much like Ryan Gosling in Barbie, upstages her title character.”
Napoleon transports viewers back to France in 1793 in the midst of a period of cataclysmic turmoil as the Jacobins seized control of the National Convention and instituted a series of radical measures. A relatively unknown Napoleon Bonaparte stepped onto the national stage to defend the nation and was quickly recognized as a brilliant tactician and courageous, almost mythic leader of men. Napoleon tracks the French general’s rise as he deploys his strategic gifts to build what seems to be an unbeatable army, propelling him from military mastermind to the throne and altering the history of France and the rest of the world in the process.
Joining Phoenix and Kirby in the cast are Tahar Rahim as Paul Barras, Ben Miles as Caulaincourt, Ludivine Sagnier as Theresa Cabarrus, Matthew Needham as Lucien Bonaparte, Youssef Kerkour as Marshal Davout, Phil Cornwell as Sanson ‘The Bourreau,’ Edouard Philipponnat as Tsar Alexander, Paul Rhys as Talleyrand, John Hollingworth as Marshall Ney, Gavin Spokes as Moulins and Mark Bonnar as Jean-Andoche Junot.
“I’m the first to admit when I made a mistake,” Napoleon said at the end of the first trailer, “I simply never do.” As historians and even casual readers of history know, Napoleon would go on to make some massive mistakes, and Scott, directing from a script by David Scarpa, gives us a man who seemed larger than life but who was, in the end, just a man—brutal, brilliant, and, in the end, tragically flawed.
Check out the trailer below. Napoleon hits theaters on November 22.
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Featured image: Vanessa Kirby and Joaquin Phoenix in “Napoleon,” premiering in theaters around the world on November 22, 2023.