Cary Fukunaga May Direct Stanley Kubrick's Napoleon For HBO

One of the great unmade movies may now become a major TV event.

Stanley Kubrick Napoleon
Warner Bros.

The late, great Stanley Kubrick has long carried a somewhat mythic status. Whether we're heaping much-deserved praise on his majestic body of work, pondering his enigmatic persona, and/or accusing him of faking the moon landings and trying to expose the Illuminati, he remains a figure of tremendous popular interest 17 years on from his untimely death.

As such, the projects which Kubrick nurtured but never managed to get made carry a similarly fascinating status. One such project was AI, which his friend Steven Spielberg finally made in 2001; another was a biopic of Napoleon, which Kubrick spent many years trying to get off the ground.

Now, it looks like the Napoleon project is finally set to see the light of day as an HBO mini-series, with Cary Fukunaga (True Detective series one, Beasts of No Nation) in the director's chair.

This claim comes from writer Filippo Ulivieri, who was present at a Stanley Kubrick retrospective at De Montfort University last week, and claims via Tumblr that Kubrick's producer Jan Harlan broke the news - though it should be noted neither HBO nor Fukunaga have confirmed this.

Given the series is reportedly set to be 6 hours long, that probably gives us some insight into why Kubrick struggled to whittle the material down to a single feature. Which is a shame, given he planned to cast Jack Nicholson in the title role.

Prior to this news, Spielberg had also been involved in an earlier attempt at a Napoleon mini-series, which Baz Lurhmann had initially been linked to direct.

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