Napoleon by Ridley Scott: Joaquin Phoenix has found his Josephine

Central character of Kitbag, the next historical film from the director of Gladiator, the Empress of the French will be played by the actress Jodie Comer, the star of the series Killing Eve.

After The Last Duel, scheduled for October 15 at the cinema, Ridley Scott tackles a new part of the history of France. And not the least. The director of Gladiator recently announced the shooting of a film about Napoleon. Kitbag, produced by Apple, will retrace the rise of the famous Corsica to the highest spheres of the French state, which had become an empire under its yoke. He will deal with the subject through his relationship with Joséphine de Beauharnais, who became his wife in 1796.

After announcing the Oscar winner Joaquin Phoenix for the title role, the specialized site Deadline has just unveiled the name of the actress who will play the Empress of the French: Jodie Comer. The 27-year-old actress, who played Rey’s mother in episode 9 of the saga Star wars and the evil killer Villanelle in Killing Eve, previously worked for Ridley Scott in The Last Duel.

A choice of casting which was not to the taste of several Internet users. They believe that the actress is too young to slip into the skin of Joséphine de Beauharnais, six years older than Napoleon. Joaquin Phoenix, his companion on screen, is 46 years old, 19 older than Jodie Comer. A significant and historically imprecise difference, but a challenge that Hollywood can take up, at a time when actors are digitally rejuvenating (or aging).

The realisation of Kitbag – a title derived from the English expression “There is a staff hidden in the package (kitbag in VO) of each soldier“- should start after that of Gucci , whose filming has just started in Rome. The film will be scripted by David Scarpa, to whom we owe in particular The day the Earth stopped and All the money in the world.

This will not be the first time that the British filmmaker has portrayed the Napoleonic era. In his first feature film, The Duelists, Harvey Keitel and Keith Carradine respectively played an emperor’s hussar and a cavalry officer engaged in a series of duels. An epic inspired among others by Barry lyndon which in 1977 earned him the prize for the first work in Cannes.


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