Ridley Scott says Joaquin Phoenix’s performance in Joker inspired him to cast the actor as the tyrannical leader in Napoleon.
Have you ever looked at the Joker and thought, “Hmm, I bet Mr. J would get along famously with Napoleon Bonaparte?” This line of thinking prompted Ridley Scott to cast Joaquin Phoenix in his next epic, Napoleon. Speaking with Empire about casting Phoenix as the authoritarian leader in the upcoming biographical drama, Scott says the actor’s performance as Arthur Fleck in Todd Phillips’ Joker is what landed him the role.
“I’m staring at Joaquin and saying, ‘This little demon is Napoleon Bonaparte,’” Scott told Empire magazine. “He looks like him.”
When asked about teaming up with Scott again, Phoenix told the outlet, “The truth is, there was just a very nostalgic idea of working with Ridley again,” he said. “He’s approached me about other things in the past, but nothing that felt like it would be as demanding for both of us. And so I really liked the idea of jumping into something with Ridley that was going to be that.”
Phoenix urges those who want to learn more about Bonaparte’s life to crack open a book. The Signs and Beau Is Afraid actor insists Scott’s version of the historical figure is intense. Perhaps more intense than some would expect. It’s drama, after all.
After watching the trailer, Joaquin Phoenix certainly has the Napoleon look down, and what we can see of the period set and costumes looks quite impressive; of course, I would expect nothing less from Ridley Scott. Napoleon, once titled Kitbag, will be an “original and personal look at Napoleon’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. While the intention of the film is to capture Napoleon’s famous battles, ambition and strategic mind, the love story he had with Josephine is just as important to the origins and way the great military leader was.” In addition to Joaquin Phoenix, Napoleon will star Vanessa Kirby as Empress Josephine and Tahar Rahim as Paul Barras.
Let us know in the comments if you are excited about Phoenix and Scott teaming up for Napoleon!