The Hollywood Reporter tells us Al Pacino is finally ready to play Napoleon, a story I first reported on way back on March 29, 2004 when the film was being referred to as The Monster of Longwood an adaptation of a Staton Rabin’s novel “Betsy and the Emperor” about the French dictator’s last days and his relationship with a young British girl who befriended him after he was exiled to the isle of St. Helena.
Back when that project was bandying about there was also Napoleon and Betsy in the works with Scarlett Johansson attached. The film never came to fruition despite Johansson dropping off as the ages soon didn’t match up and Harry Potter star Emma Watson replaced her in the role of Betsy who caught the eye of the fallen French emperor. That project, which was set to be directed by Benjamin Ross, hasn’t been heard from since.
Now, it appears the Pacino film is going to go by the name of Rabin’s novel with John Curran (The Painted Veil) directing from a script by Brian Edgar who recently co-wrote William the Conqueror for Killer Films.
An interesting tidbit I learned in a quick search is that Al Pacino, like Napoleon, is 5′ 7″. Now, if Al Pacino was French this would all make sense.
Killer Films is taking on this Napoleon feature with plans to begin filming in late autumn.