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Apple TV Plus just landed its next big movie - and it stars Joaquin Phoenix

Joker
(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Apple TV Plus is continuing to pick up cool-sounding exclusives, with its latest signing seeing Oscar-winning Joker star Joaquin Phoenix team up with legendary Alien director Ridley Scott.

Kitbag will see Phoenix take on the role of Napoleon Bonaparte, the notorious French emperor and military whizz, with Scott acting as both producer and director on the historical epic. According to Deadline, Apple has committed to finance and produce the movie, and filming begins in early 2022.

The film will focus on Napoleon's rise to glory, as well as his troubled relationship with wife Josephine.

It's not the first time the two have teamed up – Phoenix put in a startling performance in 2000's Gladiator, playing the evil Roman Emperor Commodus in Scott's magnificent swords-and-sandals extravaganza.

Scott's grand return?

Phoenix is still riding high on his Oscar winning turn in 2019's Joker, putting in a menacing and multi-faceted performance as the Batman bad guy, with many hoping he'll one day return to the role to face off against Bruce Wayne.

But it's been a bit hit-and-miss of late for Scott, whose last film was 2017's so-so All the Money in the World. He also directed and produced on HBO's sci-fi drama series Raised by Wolves – it had the hallmarks of a Scott great with its grim vision of the future and milky androids, but felt confused by that inaugural series' end.

Scott will be busy in 2021, though. While Kitbag is yet to have a release window, Scott has another historical work waiting in the wings in the shape of The Last Duel, set in 14th century France and starring Matt Damon, Adam Driver, Jodie Comer, and Ben Affleck. That's due in 2021, as is the true crime drama Gucci, focussing on the assassination of the titular fashion supremo, and will also star Adam Driver alongside Jeremy Irons and Lady Gaga.

The Alien and Prometheus director isn't the first to try to bring Napoleon's life to the silver screen. A biopic was one of the late Stanley Kubrick's great unfinished works, and is often considered the greatest film never to be made – HBO is now in the process of bringing that script back from the archives as a TV series, with Cary Fukunaga in the director's chair.

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Gerald Lynch

Gerald is the Executive Editor for TechRadar, taking care of the site's home cinema, gaming, smart home, entertainment and audio output. He loves his gaming, but don't expect him to play with you unless your console is hooked up to a 4K HDR screen and a 7.1 surround system. Based out of TechRadar Towers, London, Gerald was previously Editor of Gizmodo UK. He dreams of the day when he can pop on a VR headset and meet Lawnmower Man-era Pierce Brosnan. Sadly, Pierce doesn't share the dream.