Spielberg courting Baz Luhrmann to direct Kubrick?

Baz Luhrmann Napoleon
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Steven Spielberg announced at Cannes Film Festival in March that he would be producing Stanley Kubrick’s un-filmed masterpiece, Napoleon, for HBO. Kubrick, in a letter to Hollywood Studios in 1971, stated that it would be “The best movie ever made”.

Kubrick did extensive research on the life of Napoleon Bonaparte and set his ideal cast, with Audrey Hepburn and Oskar Werner in the leading roles. However, he passed away, having never seen his dream realized after the studio pulled funding, seeing it as too much of a risk. Now it may just come to the small screen, with Spielberg and Baz Luhrmann at the helm, two directors who would be the least likely to honor the script as Kubrick had intended it.

Baz Luhrmann NapoleonStanley Kubrick’s body of work included movies like Full Metal Jacket and A Clockwork Orange. His adaptation of Stephen King’s The Shining was laden with even more sinister undertones, and an ending changed from the book to be even more bleak, no subconscious hero’s death for Jack, just eternity, where the anger and the party never ends.

His films are a stark contrast to the gleaming, retro-contemporary, larger than life works of Baz Luhrmann, of Romeo + Juliet, and The Great Gatsby fame, and Spielberg, who seems to believe that every movie has to have a happy ending, including Kubrick’s movie A.I. Artificial intelligence, which in his original script was far more seedy and sexual in tone, but Spielberg saw fit to tone it down for mass consumption.

There is also a distinct point in which the majority believed it had been originally intended to end. But a happier ending seemed to be tacked on, and the much more impactful dystopian ending was exchanged for an overly sentimental conclusion, involving a loving future robot race, making little discernible sense. Summing up, the last mash up of the two directors garnered mixed reviews at best, so to imagine a successful adaptation of Kubrick’s cherished biopic, with the glitz of Baz luhrmann added is nearly unimaginable.

If stunning visuals are the goal, there are far better suited directors to the task, such as Julie Taymor, who was behind Frida, Across the Universe, and the brutal production of Titus, which starred Anthony Hopkins in the title role. Martin Scorsese, Ridley Scott, and television writer Bryan Fuller (Hannibal), are a few more that are no strangers to dramatic visuals, that could fall in line with Kubrick’s more somber style. Contemplating what is to come, it is hard to determine whether Stanley Kubrick would be jumping for joy at the thought that a Baz Luhrmann Napoleon movie based on his script will finally be made, or if he would be rolling in his grave.

 

SOURCE: Deadline

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About the Author

Ruby LeRouge
is a long time slave to the Silver Screen, and all around media junkie, with a strong interest in the study and archival of classic cinema reels, scripts, press releases and props. A professional artist, dabbling in prop fabrication, costuming, and practical effects makeup in her spare time. She credits much of her artistic inspiration to her life long love of movies, and holds a special adoration for stop motion animation, film noir, and classic B movies. She writes a movie editorial blog called Sleepless Cinema, sharing her candid view on all media, new and old. Insomniac and cinephile, coffee swiller and media collector, has silver screen scream queen dreams, and she lives her life in technicolor. "While the world sleeps, I watch". - Ruby LeRouge
  • AwesomeSucks

    David Slade is the director responsible for much of the look of “Hannibal,” not Bryan Fuller.

    Also, you really need to check your run-on sentences. This article is so riddled with them it’s bordering unreadable. Take, as one example, the following:

    “Having done extensive research on the life of Napoleon Bonaparte and set his ideal cast, with Audrey Hepburn and Oskar Werner in the leading roles, passed away, having never seen his dream realized after the studio pulled funding, seeing it as too much of a risk.”

    Fortunately, I’m already familiar with the production history of the Kubrick-Napoleon film or I wouldn’t have a chance of making sense of this sentence.

    • I will watch for my run-ons in the future. As for Hannibal, I saw David Slade as directing only 3 Episodes. A lot of the visuals and references through out are very much Bryan Fuller, including pulling characters from his shows Dead Like Me and Wonderfalls to kill off.

    • Ruby Le Rouge

      Actually David Slade only directed 3 episodes, Fuller is the creator of the show and has over seen it through out, including characters from both his previous series Wonder falls and Dead Like Me, (awesome joke by the way on his part with Georgia). Any fan of Fuller’s work can see his trademark style.

      I’ll work on my run on sentences in the future, if you promise to work on your incomplete ones. ;)

  • AwesomeSucks

    I don’t mean to just tear you down or anything, I just want to offer some helpful tips to make your writing better.

    Using more periods will go a long way towards making your writing more comprehensible. For example:

    “His adaptation of Stephen King’s The Shining was laden with even more sinister undertones, and an ending changed from the book to be even more bleak, no subconscious hero’s death for Jack, just eternity, where the anger and the party never ends.”

    You have two full sentences here adjoined by a comma. Instead of a comma between “bleak and “no,” just put a period and start a new statement. Re read it like that and see how much smoother and more comprehensible it gets with just the simple insertion of a period:

    “His adaptation of Stephen King’s The Shining was laden with even more sinister undertones, and an ending changed from the book to be even more bleak. No subconscious hero’s death for Jack, just eternity — where the anger and the party never ends.”

    I also added a dash after “eternity,” firstly to help break up your commas, but also because the “where the anger…” bit is more of an aside than an essential piece of the rest of the sentence.

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