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Image / Living / Culture

Vanessa Kirby to replace Jodie Comer in new Ridley Scott period drama


By Sarah Finnan
05th Jan 2022

Vanessa Kirby / Instagram

Vanessa Kirby to replace Jodie Comer in new Ridley Scott period drama

Vanessa Kirby will star opposite Joaquin Phoenix who has been cast as Napoleon in the upcoming period drama.

Actress Vanessa Kirby is believed to be the latest big name soon to enter the epic world of Ridley Scott and is currently in talks with the director about starring in his new movie, Kitbag. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Kirby is expected to replace Jodie Comer on the project who was forced to exit due to scheduling conflicts with her first West End stage production, Prima Facie.  

Known for her portrayal of Princess Margaret in the first two seasons of Netflix’s The Crown, Kirby has already been well-recognised for her work and has appeared in movies such as About Time, Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw, and Mission: Impossible – Fallout.  She also received an Oscar nomination for her involvement in the 2020 film Pieces of a Woman, with several other nominations and awards (including a BAFTA) under her belt too.

As per the Deadline description, Kitbag is “an original and personal look at Napoleon Bonaparte’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. While the intention of the film is to capture Napoleon’s famous battles, ambition, and strategic mind, the love story he had with Josephine is just as important to the origins and the way the great military leader was.??” Centring on the explosive relationship between the French leader and his wife, Kirby will take on the role of Empress Josephine while Joaquin Phoenix has already been confirmed as Napoleon.

Speaking to Deadline about the project this time last year, Scott said that “Napoleon is a man [he’s] always been fascinated by.” “He came out of nowhere to rule everything – but all the while he was waging a romantic war with his adulterous wife Josephine. He conquered the world to try to win her love, and when he couldn’t, he conquered it to destroy her, and destroyed himself in the process.” 

Steadfast in his casting of Phoenix as the infamous Frenchman, Scott later added that “no actor could ever embody Napoleon like Joaquin. He created one of movie history’s most complex Emperors in Gladiator, and we’ll create another with his Napoleon. It’s a brilliant script written by David Scarpa, and today there’s no better partner than Apple to bring a story like this to a global audience.”

Also explaining where the film’s title comes from, it’s derived from the saying “There is a general’s staff hidden in every soldier’s kitbag”. 

Apple Studios has committed to finance and produce the movie with production set to begin this spring.