Ridley Scott didn’t make “Napoleon” for history classes.
The director shrugged off criticisms over historical inaccuracies of the upcoming period piece starring Joaquin Phoenix as the French ruler during an interview with The New Yorker. The article cited TV historian Dan Snow’s viral TikTok that called out the locations and stylings shown in the film’s trailer, including having Napoleon Bonaparte show up in places he did not travel to in real life.
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“Get a life,” Scott replied.
“Napoleon” looks at Napoleon’s origins and climb to power through the lens of his relationship with his wife, Josephine (Vanessa Kirby). The Apple epic aims to capture Napoleon’s famous battles, ambition, and strategy as a military leader and war visionary. The distributor doesn’t appear to be touting its historical accuracies.
The feature is set to have a four-and-a-half-hour director’s cut streaming on Apple TV+ in 2024.
Scott last helmed “House of Gucci,” also based on an infamous international family. “The people that were writing from the family to us at the onset were alarmingly insulting, saying that Al Pacino did not represent physically Aldo Gucci in any shape or form,” Scott said of his casting choices. “And yet, frankly, how could they be better represented than by Al Pacino? Excuse me! You probably have the best actors in the world, you should be so fucking lucky.”
The auteur has called out criticisms over historical accuracies in his past fictional period films, as well.
“I say, get a life,” Scott commented in 2015 (via AP) when critics cited the lack of a diverse cast in “Exodus: Gods and Kings,” which charted the Jewish people’s escape from Egypt in the Bible. Christian Bale portrayed Moses.
Scott additionally said “fuck you” in 2021 to an interviewer who said “The Last Duel” was more realistic than 2010’s “Robin Hood” and 2005’s “Kingdom of Heaven.”
“Sir, fuck you. Fuck you. Thank you very much. Fuck you,” Scott said on-camera. “Go fuck yourself, sir. Go on.”
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