Jodie Comer Might Play Josephine to Joaquin Phoenix's Napoleon in Ridley Scott's 'Kitbag'
Jodie Comer will (probably) be Josephine to Joaquin Phoenix‘s Napoleon in Ridley Scott‘s Kitbag. Comer just worked with Scott on the historical epic The Last Duel, and now she’ll likely play Napoleon’s first wife. The deal isn’t final yet, and there’s always a chance that the Killing Eve star might not end up in the film after all. But for now, she’s Scott’s number one choice for the role.
Deadline has the scoop on Jodie Comer potentially joining the cast of Kitbag (side-note: please change that bad title). The film is described as 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.”
Joaquin Phoenix is set to play Napoleon, while Comer is being sought after to play Josephine (another side-note: in real life, Josephine was six years older than Napoleon, while Phoenix is 19 years older than Comer, suggesting Scott isn’t too hung up on historical accuracy here). The Deadline report adds that Scott actually had no idea who Comer was before he cast her in The Last Duel, but her performance there was so impressive that she immediately became his front-runner to play Josephine in Kitbag.
Napoleon was Josephine’s second husband (her first, Alexandre de Beauharnais, was guillotined during the Reign of Terror). They married in 1796, and in 1804, when Napoleon became Emperor of the French, Josephine became Empress. While Napoleon wrote her numerous love letters, he also grew frustrated that Josephine would not bear him an heir.
The two divorced in 1810 in “the interest of France,” AKA so Napoleon could marry someone else and have a son. Josephine still retained her title as Empress of the French after the divorce. Josephine died before Napoleon, in 1814. When Napoleon learned of her death while exiled on Elba, he locked himself in his room for two days and refused to speak to anyone. The Kitbag film intends to “capture Napoleon’s famous battles, ambition, and strategic mind,” while also underscoring that “the love story he had with Josephine is just as important to the origins and way the great military leader was.”
Apple Studios is financing Kitbag, with script duties falling to David Scarpa, who also wrote Scott’s All the Money in the World. Scott’s The Last Duel, which stars Comer, Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, and Adam Driver, wrapped production at the end of 2020 and is currently set to arrive on October 15, 2021. Kitbag doesn’t have a release date just yet, and there’s no word on when it’s going to start filming.
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