Steven Spielberg has taken on a screenplay about Napoleon by Stanley Kubrick, which the late filmmaker ditched in the 1970s. The Lincoln director told French TV network Canal+ that the script will form the basis of a TV miniseries and not a film. Kubrick spent years researching Napoleon in depth, according to The Hollywood Reporter, and Spielberg will develop the biopic along with Kubrick’s family.
Kubrick had high hopes for the film in a 1971 draft letter to studio executives, writing, “It’s impossible to tell you what I’m going to do except to say that I expect to make the best movie ever made.” He had contacted Oskar Werner and Audrey Hepburn for roles in the film, but Hepburn told him she wasn’t taking work for a while, though she still hoped Kubrick would consider her in the future.
Spielberg and Kubrick previously collaborated on 2001’s A.I. Artificial Intelligence. Kubrick started work on the science fiction film in the 1970s, and Spielberg later wrote and directed the movie.