Ridley Scott Casts Vanessa Kirby as Empress Josephine in Apple’s Epic Napoleon Biopic Kitbag

Ridley Scott Casts Vanessa Kirby as Empress Josephine in Apple’s Epic Napoleon Biopic Kitbag

Mission: Impossible – Fallout star Vanessa Kirby has been cast as Empress Josephine in Apple Studio’s upcoming Napoleon Bonaparte biopic, Kitbag. The actress will appear opposite Joaquin Phoenix, who’s set to play the French military and political leader, in director-producer Ridley Scott’s historical drama, Deadline is reporting.

The news of Kirby joining Kitbag‘s cast comes after it was previously announced that Jodie Comer signed on to play Empress Josephine. The latter actress, who previously worked with Scott on The Last Duel, had to drop out of the upcoming feature, due to scheduling issues with her first West End stage production, Prima Facie.

“Unfortunately, due to COVID and changes of schedule, I don’t think I can make Kitbag work right now due to a scheduling conflict,” Comer told The Hollywood Repoter. She’s set to begin rehearsals for Prima Facie in March. The show will run as a limited engagement from April to June.

Kirby, whose reps are negotiating a deal for her to appear in Kitbag, has been garnering significant acclaim in her career in recently. She was nominated for Academy, BAFTA, Golden Globe and SAG Awards last year for her performance in the drama, Pieces of a Woman. The performer is also best known for her Emmy Award-nominated portrayal of Princess Margaret in the first two seasons of Netflix’s The Crown.

As a result of her growing fame, Kirby was cast last summer alongside Anthony Hopkins, Hugh Jackman and Laura Dern in The Son, which is the follow-up to writer-director Florian Zeller’s Oscar-winning feature debut, The Father. The actress is also set to return to the Mission: Impossible franchise for its upcoming seventh installment.

Kirby will next be seen in scribe-helmer Adam Leon’s drama, Italian Studies, which she’s also executive producing. Magnolia Pictures is set to release the film in theaters and On Demand on January 14.

Kitbag was written by Scott’s All the Money in the World collaborator, David Scarpa. The upcoming movie will explore Bonaparte’s origins and his swift, ruthless climb to become the emperor of France in the early 19th century. The story will be told through the lens of his addictive and often volatile relationship with Empress Josephine.

Scott and Phoenix are reuniting on Kitbag, after they worked together on the Academy Award-winning 2000 historical drama, Gladiator. Apple Studios is financing and producing their upcoming film.

Check out more of Karen Benardello’s articles.

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