If we did, though, we would be seriously tempted by Taschen's gorgeous new limited-edition book, 'Stanley Kubrick: The Film That Never Was,' a history of Kubrick's never-made movie 'Napoleon.' Got $700 burning a hole in your pocket this holiday season? Yeah, we don't either.
If we did, though, we would be seriously tempted by Taschen's gorgeous new limited-edition book, 'Stanley Kubrick: The Film That Never Was,' a history of Kubrick's never-made movie 'Napoleon.'
Following the release of '2001: A Space Odyssey,' Kubrick spent two years extensively researching 'Napoleon,' writing a screenplay and preparing for a production that never came to be. No doubt influenced by the fate of the lavish box office bomb 'Waterloo,' film studios passed on producing the film, deciding that the risk involved in doing another Napoleon epic was simply too great.
Kubrick's meticulous research as outlined in Taschen's book reveals plans for what would have been a remarkable film -- an intimate character study nestled within a grand period epic. Weighing in at a hefty twenty-two pounds, the book is actually a collection of ten separate volumes, tucked inside a carved-out leather bound book.
Each book features a different aspect of Kubrick's painstaking 'Napoleon' research and development: location scouting, production, costumes, script (Kubrick's final draft), the complete original treatment, correspondence (including Audrey Hepburn's tactful note declining the role of Josephine) and others. In addition to the trove of material presented in the books, purchase of the volume includes access to a searchable online database containing nearly 17,000 Napoleonic images.
It is remarkable to have such an in-depth view of Kubrick's process -- one wonders what the final product would have looked like had the director not been thwarted by nervous studios. Notably, Kubrick didn't wallow in any 'Napoleon'-related sorrows. He immediately went to work on 'A Clockwork Orange,' not exactly a "Plan B" kind of production.