HBO, Fukunaga Adapt Kubrick’s “Napoleon”

Like every filmmaker, the late and great Stanley Kubrick had at least one passion project sitting on his desk that he had been wanting to tackle for years but never could quite pull together.

When he died, the cinema maestro left behind one such project which he’d been working on since 1961 – a biopic of French ruler Napoleon Bonaparte. Kubrick had abandoned the project in the 1970s due to budget and production challenges, but in the process had left behind extensive research archives on the subject which he’d amassed over many years.

Three years ago came word that Kubrick’s friend Steven Spielberg said he would work with Kubrick’s estate on the project which would be turned into a mini-series for premium cable. At the time Baz Luhrmann was reportedly eyeing the director’s chair.

Then… nothing. Its been all quiet on the project until this week when author Filippo Ulivieri posted a story on his Tumblr page. A retrospective of Kubrick had been held at De Montfort University in Leicester the other week and Kubrick’s brother-in-law Jan Harland was in attendance.

Harland apparently told Uliveri that the project will now be a Spielberg-produced six-hour miniseries with “Jane Eyre” and “True Detective: Season One” helmer Cary Fukunaga set to direct the entire thing. He also indicated that David Leland (“Mona Lisa”) wrote the most recent draft of the script.

Collider subsequently reached out to HBO for a comment but have yet to hear back. Fukanaga was slated to helm the two-part adaptation of Stephen King’s “It” but dropped out due to creative differences. He’s since attached himself to Netflix’s comedy series “Maniac”.

Still, if it does go forward we’ll have a Fukunaga-directed, Spielberg-produced HBO mini-series based on a long-lost Kubrick project. It doesn’t get more event television than that.