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Joaquin Phoenix starts filming Apple TV Plus Napoleon movie

Joaquin Phoenix has transformed into Napoleon Bonaparte as he begins filming Ridley Scott's ambitious Napoleon movie for Apple TV Plus

joaquin phoenix napoleon

Joaquin Phoneix appears to be getting into character after being spotted in full Napoleon get-up while filming in Greenwich, London. Pictures show him in 18th-century military uniform, including Napoleon’s now-iconic hat in gold trimming.

The pictures, as shared by Metro, also show South London’s transformation to 18th century France, with French flags, horse-drawn carriages and plenty of extras costumed-up helping to make the upcoming historical drama movie look more vivid and accurate alongside Phoenix. Phoenix and London have transformed amid Ridley Scott and Mark Huffman’s epic Napoleon, which will drop exclusively on streaming service Apple TV Plus.

The film, which was previously known as Kitbag, is set to star Phoenix as Napoleon Bonaparte opposite Vanessa Kirby, who recently replaced Jodie Comer as Napoleon’s wife Empress Josephine. The synopsis for the film on IMDb reads; “The film is an original and personal look at Napoleon Bonaparte’s origins and his swift, ruthless climb to emperor, viewed through the prism of his addictive and often volatile relationship with his wife and one true love, Josephine.”

“Napoleon is a man I’ve always been fascinated by,” Scott told Deadline in a 2021 interview. “He came out of nowhere to rule everything — but all the while he was waging a romantic war with his adulterous wife Josephine. He conquered the world to try to win her love, and when he couldn’t, he conquered it to destroy her, and destroyed himself in the process.”

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“No actor could ever embody Napoleon like Joaquin,” Scott said. “He created one of movie history’s most complex Emperors in Gladiator, and we’ll create another with his Napoleon. It’s a brilliant script written by David Scarpa, and today there’s no better partner than Apple to bring a story like this to a global audience.”

At present, the release date for Napoleon is tentatively set for 2023, but to see Phoenix and Scott in action, you can watch Gladiator on Netflix.