Hollywood is famous for putting out competing films about a similar topic or character, which is exactly what’s happening with Napoleon.
The epic French Emperor currently is a figure in two movies that are in pre-production. The first film is the historical romance Napoleon and Betsy with Harry Potter star Emma Watson attached. The second being Betsy and the Emperor based on the children’s book by Stanton Rabin, which former Godfather star Al Pacino has signed on to play the gutsy Frenchman.
Napoleon and Betsy takes liberties with the story – having a young girl fall in love with the French emperor (which will most likely play out well with “Tweens”). The latter film Betsy and the Emperor will stay closer to the actual known history between Betsy and Napoleon. However, since it is based on a children’s book, the storyline is much more majestic.
According to Cinematical.com Betsy and the Emperor is:
“Based on the true story of Betsy Balcombe, Rabin’s tale follows the 14-year-old as she breaks out of her family’s fear of Bonaparte and becomes his friend while he’s exiled on St. Helena. The relationship is based in fact, but the book then adds a bunch of flair with accidental death and hot balloon adventures.”
It’s being said that Pacino has wanted to play the stout French emperor for some time, but I cannot imagine that his ideal role included fairy tale themes. Then again, can he really be picky after the disaster that was Righteous Kill? Perhaps even the great Pacino should be forced to go back to the drawing board after an absolute failure.
What do you think? Is Pacino trying to get out of his comfort zone or is he taking the role out of sheer desperation to play Napoleon on the silver screen?