Ridley Scott Says His 4-Hour ‘Napoleon’ Director’s Cut Will Be Released on Apple TV+

The historical epic starring Joaquin Phoenix will be released by Sony in theaters and later get a streaming release

Ridley Scott Napoleon
Ridley Scott (Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images)

The phrase “director’s cut” has become synonymous with Ridley Scott, thanks to films like “Blade Runner” and “Kingdom of Heaven.” His next film, “Napoleon,” will also have a director’s cut — and it is shaping up to be four hours long when it hits Apple TV+ early next year.

In an interview with Total Film Magazine, Ridley Scott says that he’s very pleased that his historical epic starring Joaquin Phoenix as the French general and emperor is being handled by Sony Pictures and Apple Original Films. He notes that this gives him the best of both worlds, with a full theatrical release and the editing freedom that comes with streaming.

“What will happen is, we’ll screen [the theatrical cut] first with Sony, and then it has its run, and then the perfect thing is that [the director’s cut] goes to streaming, and we have four hours, 10 minutes,” Scott said, referring to the current length of the director’s cut, which is still in the editing bay.

“Napoleon” will be released on Thanksgiving weekend by Sony Pictures and follows the rise and fall of arguably the most famous figure in French history. He’s seen through the lens of his turbulent relationship with Empress Josephine, played by Vanessa Kirby.

The film marks the reunion of Scott and Phoenix more than two decades after they worked together on the Oscar-winning “Gladiator,” with Phoenix playing the corrupt Roman emperor Commodus opposite Russell Crowe. After “Napoleon,” Scott’s next film will be a sequel to “Gladiator,” which had production paused by the SAG-AFTRA strike but is currently slated for a release in November 2024.

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