The Final Napoleon Trailer Showcases Epic Scale Ahead of Theatrical Debut
Spanning key chapters in the general-cum-emperor’s adult life, Napoleon spotlights cultural forces and inner yearnings propelling the ingenious Corsican into the annals of revolutionary then Imperial history. While abundant big-screen portrayals have depicted this towering yet controversial figure’s battlefield exploits and administrative acumen, Scott’s latest opus explores more intimate dimensions.
Foremost is Napoleon’s complicated romance with eventual Empress Joséphine (Vanessa Kirby) which greatly shaped his ideological outlook and political ascent after their 1796 marriage. By then rising through military ranks, Napoleonic ambition soon gained traction via successes in Italy and Egypt before controversially crowning himself head of the First French Empire in 1804.
Visions of Grandeur: Solo Journey from Corsican Outsider to Emperor
Beyond romance, Napoleon charts the titular leader’s psychological journey seeking greatness for France and glory for himself. The trailer opens with Phoenix amidst Alpine vistas where the future emperor existed as an obscure lieutenant miles removed from Parisian powerbrokers and royal court intrigue.
Yet scenes shift to opulent palaces Napoleon later called home, addressing rapt assemblies and armies cementing visions of mastery over Europe. We briefly glimpse supporting stars Denis Ménochet as King Louis XVI and British thespians Tahar Rahim and Mark Bonnar portraying Bourbon royalists. Rafe Spall also makes a sinister appearance as Napoleon's government minister Talleyrand scheming for influence as political tides shift.
By clip’s end Phoenix declares “we must risk everything” atop triumphant warfare tableaus, cavalry charges and cannon barrages conveying the film’s tremendous scale. These visuals live up to Scott's reputation harnessing cinema's full force for historical recreation ever since Gladiator and Kingdom of Heaven.
The Maestro's Magic: How Scott Attracted Top Talent
Given Scott’s esteemed directorial pedigree engineering Best Picture Winner Gladiator and guiding Russell Crowe's Maximum career, attracting acting luminaries for Napoleon proved easy despite a sizable budget.
In Phoenix, the five-time Oscar nominee embodies searing on-screen magnetism making him perfectly cast as Bonaparte, one of history’s most dynamic conquering heroes. Reuniting with Scott after playing Jesus Christ together in 2005's Kingdon of Heaven, their latest collaboration sees Phoenix rendering Napoleon's fierce intellect and soaring ambition.
With equal aplomb, Vanessa Kirby finds herself again in a Scott blockbuster inhabiting doom-marked royalty as she did playing Princess Margaret in TV’s The Crown. Kirby channels all the layered splendor fans adore while introducing new audiences to Joséphine’s central role during ascendency years.
Rounding out primary cast members, Irish actor Michael MacElhatton (best known as Roose Bolton from Game of Thrones) assumes duties as Napoleon's scheming chief diplomat Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand.
Cinematic History Repeating Itself
When Napoleon lands in theaters November 22nd, Ridley Scott achieves a career milestone that remarkably mirrors his own protagonist’s trajectory. Much like how then-General Napoleon Bonaparte became emperor after conquering Europe’s imagination, Scott returns to historical biopic grandeur late in his directorial reign by tackling this towering historical figure.
Now 85 years old, Sir Ridley stands beside three-time Oscar winner Sidney Lumet (Network, 12 Angry Men) and late auteur John Huston (The African Queen, Prizzi’s Honor) as the only directors creating big-budget major studio films beyond their ninth decades. And given enduring fan appetite for all things Napoleonic, the timing seems auspicious for Scott's ambitious autumnal prestige project to earn awards attention and commercial success.
Yet beyond eye-popping spectacle, discerning movie buffs will discover deeper insights into Napoleon the man versus legend when Napoleon arrives in theaters November 22nd. With Phoenix and Kirby reteaming with the Herny V and Gladiator architect, witness intimate moments revealing forces propelling a singular figure into the historical pantheon when Napoleon commences global release later this month.