Napoleon Bonaparte is known for being many things: Warrior, General, Tyrant, Genius, Rebel. Take your pick! For Ridley Scott’s new film, Napoleon, Joaquin Phoenix brings many shades of Bonaparte’s reputation to light, highlighting the complex historical figure’s faults and strategic erudition. Today, Columbia Pictures debuted a new clip from Napoleon featuring the Battle of Austerlitz, aka the Battle of Three Emperors.
The footage finds Phoenix’s Napoleon taking the high ground, looking down on his enemies with disdain and menacing intent. As both sides of the conflict converge, Napoleon waits for his adversaries to make a grave mistake. Once carefully chosen battlefield positions reveal themselves, Napoleon’s enemies discover they’re traversing a frozen body of water. Before they can retreat to safety, Napoleon unleashes hell in the form of cannon balls pointed directly at the frigid lakebed. As the artillery pierces the ice, soldiers fall to their deaths, the sub-zero water entering their mouths, turning their lungs to ice. Napoleon’s strategies are undoubtedly brutal, and Scott realizes the savagery with a keen eye for grim detail.
The official synopsis from Apple reads:
Napoleon is an original and personal look at Napoleon’s origins and his swift, ruthless climb to emperor, viewed through the prism of his addictive and often volatile relationship with his wife and one true love, Josephine. The film captures Napoleon’s famous battles, relentless ambition, and astounding strategic mind as an extraordinary military leader and war visionary.
Napoleon stars Joaquin Phoenix in the titular role of the French emperor. Vanessa Kirby joins Phoenix as Empress Josephine, as well as Tahar Rahim, Mark Bonnar, Rupert Everett, and Youssef Kerkour. Ridley Scott directs Napoleon from a script by David Scarpa. The producers on board include Kevin J. Walsh, Mark Huffman, Joaquin Phoenix, and Ridley Scott. The film’s executive producers are Raymond Kirk, Aidan Elliott, and Michael Pruss.
What do you think about today’s Battle of Austerlitz clip? Can you imagine running onto the battlefield only to discover ice beneath your feet after it’s too late? Napoleon strides into theaters on November 22, with Oscar buzz already in the air. Will you follow Napoleon into battle later this month? Let us know in the comments section below.