Jodie Comer, who recently presided over Ridley Scott’s The Last Duel in three separate flashbacks, will not be joining the director for his Waterloo. Initially cast in Scott’s Napoleon Bonaparte biopic, Kitbag, Comer has left the project over some “rubbish” schedule changes.
Per The Hollywood Reporter, Comer told the publication’s Awards Chatter podcast that “due to COVID and changes of schedule,” she would be unable to “make Kitbag work right now due to a scheduling conflict.” Naturally, Comer isn’t happy about this, referring to the change as “rubbish.”
As for the rest of Kitbag, the Apple-produced movie still has its lead: Joaquin Phoenix, who—and you might want to sit down for this—is playing Napoleon. As for Empress Joséphine, the role Comer is exiting, Deadline reports that Apple is already in “advanced negotiations” with another actor, which we can only hope is Lady Gaga, who was molto bene in Scott’s House Of Gucci last year.
Napoleon movies tend to have a lot of baggage because of Stanley Kubrick’s legendary unfinished biopic. In the mid-10s, Steven Spielberg, who has plenty of experience finishing Kubrick’s movies, announced plans to turn Kubrick’s script into a six-episode TV miniseries. Unfortunately, the news slowly but surely dried up, and the thing never got made.
But is there a filmmaker alive in a better position to direct a historical epic than Scott? Kitbag makes the third period piece directed by Scott in the past few years—five if you count All The Money In The World and Alien: Covenant (but only if you count the future as a time period). Additionally, he says he’s got a Gladiator sequel brewing. What can you say? The guy loves getting costume and production designers award nominations.
Update: Despite our deepest desires for Lady Gaga to play Napoleon’s wife, it’s simply not in the cards. Shortly after this article was published, Deadline announced that Pieces Of A Woman star Vanessa Kirby would play Empress Joséphine.