Snow White and the Huntsman may not have been particularly well-received by critics (read our review), but the film – which featured Twilight star Kristen Stewart and Thor star Chris Hemsworth in the two titular roles – did manage to rein in nearly $400 million at the worldwide box office (despite its failure to earn back its $170 million production budget, domestically).
That apparently was enough for Universal to confidently move forward on a sequel, though director Rupert Sanders – who made his directorial feature debut with the first film – ultimately exited the project. Sanders has since become attached to several projects, including an adaptation of Frederick Forsyth’s thriller The Kill List, the crime drama 90 Church and the Tom Cruise-led Van Helsing reboot. Now we can add one more film to his to-do list.
According to THR, Sanders has signed to direct a biopic following the life of French leader Napoleon Bonaparte for Warner Bros. The film, entitled simply Napoleon, will reportedly model its approach after the Brian De Palma classic Scarface and is written by Jeremy Doner, whose credits include television series like The Killing and Damages. Gianni Nunnari (The Departed) will produce.
In comparing the project to De Palma’s gangster epic, Napoleon will likely emulate the role its protagonist’s pride played in his ultimate downfall, playing more along the lines of a Greek tragedy than a traditional biopic. However, Sanders’ involvement indicates that the film could also incorporate the heavily-stylized visuals of his work in Snow White and the Huntsman, as well as the adventurous tone of previous Nunnari productions like 300 and Immortals.
Without a doubt, Napoleon’s rise to power (and subsequent fall at the Battle of Waterloo) is brimming with potential that hasn’t really received a definitive treatment on the big screen. There is every chance that Sanders could bring a fresh perspective to the story (and a far different one than the Napoleon mini-series Steven Spielberg has his eye on), but the question remains of whether or not his particular aesthetic is a good fit for such a rich historical epic.
Do you think Sanders is the right choice to bring the life of Napoleon Bonaparte to the big screen, and who would you like to see play the French leader in Napoleon? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Stay tuned to Screen Rant for the latest on Napoleon as this story develops.