Ridley Scott and Joaquin Phoenix are teaming up again for a historical epic. The Alien director has set up his next project, Kitbag, which will be a biopic about French military leader Napoleon Bonaparte. Phoenix will star in the leading role, making for a Gladiator reunion. This comes just as Scott is finishing up work on another period piece, The Last Duel, and after Phoenix won an Oscar earlier this year for his work in Joker. That instantly makes this a desirable package.
According to a new report, Disney's 20th Century Studios is developing Kitbag with Ridley Scott's Scott Free production company. David Scarpa (All the Money in the World) is on board to write the screenplay. Kevin Walsh is on board as a producer alongside Scott. As for the title, it comes from the saying, "There is a general's staff hidden in every soldier's kitbag." A brief description of the movie's story was revealed as well, which reads as follows.
"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."
It is said that the movie will include Napoleon's "famous battles, relentless ambition and astounding strategic mind as an extraordinary military leader and war visionary." Ridley Scotthas remained remarkably busy during 2020, despite Hollywood being in a precarious situation. The Last Duel, which stars Ben Affleck, Matt Damon and Adam Driver, just recently wrapped filming, which makes it one of few major movies to do so since the industry-wide shutdown initially started in March. Scott is also set to Gucci starring Lady Gaga as his next project. It has an A-list cast that includes Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Adam Driver and Jared Leto. It is expected to begin filming in March. Kitbag would follow.
As for Joaquin Phoenix, he is coming off of 2019's Joker, which went on to earn more than $1 billion at the global box office, culminating in a Best Picture nomination at the Oscars. Phoenix's take on the DC Comics villain also earned him his first Oscar. Some of his other recent credits include The Sisters Brothers and You Were Never Really Here. Phoenix is also known for Walk the Line, Her and, perhaps most importantly, Gladiator. Ridley Scott directed the 2000 epic which won Best Picture that year and was a huge financial success. This will be the first time Phoenix and Scott have collaborated since.
One big question about this new biopic is what it means for the future of the Alien franchise. Ridley Scott has confirmed multiple times that he is still developing a follow-up to 2017's Alien: Covenant. It seems, unless he is not in the director's chair, that the project could be a few years away. We'll be sure to keep you posted as any further details are made available. This news comes to us via Deadline.