Stanley Kubrick’s life-long passion project Napoleon will finally be realized nearly 50 years after the acclaimed director began working on it. The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed reports that HBO is preparing a mini-series based on Kubrick’s original script. Cary Fukunaga, who first made a name for himself on HBO’s True Detective, has been charged with directing the hire-profile project. Steven Spielberg, who previously expressed interest in helming the film himself, is on board as an executive producer.
The film revolves around French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte and his struggle to bring Europe under his total control during the 19th century. Kubrick began working on a script shortly after completing 2001: A Space Odyssey in 1968. He traveled to France, Britain and Romania, collecting over 17,000 Napoleon-related artifacts. He even planned to use 30,000 members of Romania’s army for vast battle scenes.
Unfortunately, sky-high costs and other factors delayed the film’s production indefinitely. As a result, Napoleon was infamously dubbed “the greatest film never made.”
Recently, Kubrick’s family opened his archives to HBO and signed off on the network’s plans to finally complete Napoleon. In addition to Fukunaga, HBO has hired David Leland (The Borgias) to finish Kubrick’s script. Kubrick’s estate will also have a hand in production.