Posted by: ckckred | March 5, 2013

Steven Spielberg to Develop Stanley Kubrick’s Napoleon as a Miniseries


After completing 2001: A Space Odyssey, director Stanley Kubrick planned to create a movie about Napoleon and wrote a script for the movie as early as 1961, but unfortunately never made the film due to production problems.  Now, Steven Spielberg is planning to take Kubrick’s script and adapt it for a miniseries with the support of Kubrick’s estate.

Let me just tell you something right here: Stanley Kubrick is my favorite filmmaker.  There are a couple of directors I respect nearly as much as him like Martin Scorsese or Alfred Hitchcock, but I don’t think anyone has the legacy Kubrick has.

This isn’t the first time Kubrick and Spielberg have collaborated.  The two worked on A. I.: Artificial Intelligence, which was conceived by Kubrick and directed by Spielberg after Kubrick died in 1999.  While A. I. was met with mixed reviews when it came out, in my opinion it is not only one of Spielberg’s finest but one of the best films of the 21st century.

So this project definitely has my interest.  I’ve always thought Kubrick’s adaptation of Napoleon would be similar to Barry Lyndon.  The main question is whether the adaptation would be faithful to the source.  So to my readers, I’m asking you what do you think?




  1. Personally, I think it should be left alone. In a way it seems a shame to waste the huge amount of research Kubrick did on his proposed film but I’m not sure Kubrick would want anyone bringing his baby to life. It would just be a Spielberg production and not have the Kubrick hallmarks it would have done. Also, Kubrick intended it as a film, not a mini series, so it’s essentially a completely different piece of work.

    Who knows, though? If it does happen, it could turn out to be a masterpiece!

    • It would be interesting to see what Kubrick’s vision of Napoleon would look like but I do agree really only Kubrick could translate it to the screen without someone altering his story. I don’t know how long the script was, but I think it could be made well into a miniseries. It could turn out very well. Thanks for commenting,

  2. Hmm….I think it should be left alone. That, or Spielberg make the film but without Kubrick’s script/name to it. I think their styles are too different…
    Interesting post!

    • It would be very interesting to see. I really do love A. I., and I think if this does get made it would have a similar tone between Kubrick’s coldhearted characters and satire and Spielberg’s warmth. I’m not sure if it could be translated very well. Thanks for commenting,

  3. I had heard some rumblings about this. Not sure what to think.

    • Yeah, it’s really hard to imagine what it would look like. I’ve always thought it to be similar to Barry Lyndon. Thanks for commenting.

  4. I had heard about this recently but I don’t really know what to think about it either. I do wish it was an actual movie though, as I would be more motivated to see it because I watch movies. That’s my format that I like. Haven’t seen AI but I’ve been meaning too. I’d say if Spielberg was able to do that without making too many people mad, him doing Napoleon will probably be fine. Obviously not the same as Kubrick doing it originally though, wish that would have happened. It’ll be interesting to see what Spielberg does with it, nevertheless.

    • A. I.’s definitely one to watch. A lot of people criticize it for being unbalanced in its tone but I think it’s a fantastic movie.

      I would like to see it in film form but I still think it could be done well as a miniseries. Kubrick’s movies are far different than Spielberg’s, but I think a good adaptation can be made if it’s translated well from the story. It’ll be very interesting to watch either way. Thanks for commenting.

  5. I find this to be intriguing news at the very least. I often wondered why there wasn’t more about Napoleon out there. I mean, the only personification of him that comes to mind quickly is his character in Count of Monte Cristo…and there is so much that can be made with Napoleon. Spielberg taking over what Kubrick left seems like a pretty good deal.

    • I’ve always felt Kubrick’s interpretation of Napoleon would always be like Barry Lyndon, which may be why he made that film. I’m not sure if anyone could take the reigns of the films without altering Kubrick’s vision but it still will be very interesting to see. Thanks for commenting.

  6. I feel like this would be incredibly interesting to watch, but more to see Spielberg’s interpretation than to admire Kubrick’s original thoughts. I also don’t know if Spielberg could pull off the surrealist qualities of Kubrick’s films.

    • That’s true. Kubrick’s movies are filled with coldhearted characters while Spielberg’s have warmth. A. I. pretty much shows the two styles together and I thought it worked very well there, though I know plenty disagree. It would be interesting to see Napoleon, maybe it would be a little bit like Barry Lyndon. Thanks for commenting.

  7. […] came through, though Barry Lyndon and Eyes Wide Shut have similarities to the script.  Recently, Steven Spielberg announced he was hoping to make a miniseries off of Kubrick’s screenplay but sadly we will never see the full force of Kubrick’s original […]

  8. […] few years back, Steven Spielberg announced that he would be adapting Stanley Kubrick’s legendarily unproduced ….  Since then, we haven’t heard any developments but now another Kubrick script may see the […]

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