Read Stanley Kubrick's Never Filmed 'Napoleon' Script

Friday, 08 April 2011 13:55 Written by  Jordan DeSaulnier
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Read Stanley Kubrick's Never Filmed 'Napoleon' Script

Any real discussion of the great cinematic artists of the 20th Century really has to include Stanley Kubrick, the auteur behind classics like 2001: A Space Odyssey, Dr Strangelove, A Clockwork Orange, The Shining, Full Metal Jacket, and Spartacus.  The director's most famous unrealized project was a hugely epic biopic of French Emperor and military general Napoleon Bonaparte.  Though we won't ever see his vision realized, his unproduced screenplay is freely available online.

Check out the 155-page draft at Google Docs, with thanks to @georgelazenby for showing the way.

Stanley Kubrick was a famously obsessive researcher, and he spent years devouring information on Bonaparte in preparation for his ambitious biopic.  He compiled an entire mini-library of material on Napoleon, whose life he said was "an epic poem of action".  This was decades before the heyday of CGI, and Kubrick intended to shoot expansive battle scenes in Romania, utilizing up to 50,000 Romanian soldiers.  For his cast, Kubrick hoped to secure David Hemmings as Napoleon and Audrey Hepburn as Josephine, with Alec Guiness and Laurence Olivier in supporting roles.  He planned to make the film after 2001, but the massive cost and the failure of Napoleon-centric Waterloo in 1970 ensured that Kubrick's Napoleon would not happen. 

Of all the countless potential films that simply never came to be, Stanley Kubrick's Napoleon is something special, so check out the jaw-droppingly ambitious screenplay and let us know what you think.

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