Close observers of Ridley Scott’s career know that his directorial cuts are often more notable than his theatrical releases. From initially misunderstood masterpieces like Blade Runner and Kingdom of Heaven to more offbeat films like The Counselor, many of Scott’s films are only truly appreciated when he is allowed to present his unfiltered vision without studio interference.

His latest work, Napoleon, is one of the British director’s most anticipated films in recent memory. Many fans and critics see the historical epic’s massive scale and cast of Joaquin Phoenix as a natural parallel to 2001’s Academy Award-winning Gladiator. The film is expected to play a major role in this fall’s Oscar race — but in true Scott fashion, it’s already thinking about the director’s cut.

In a new interview with Empire, Scott teased that he had an “amazing” cut of the film, which runs 270 minutes and focuses more on Vanessa Kirby’s portrayal as Napoleon’s wife Josephine. Scott expressed hope that Apple will eventually show its long snippet of the film – although the version that hits theaters in November will still be a behemoth.

The Director’s Cut reportedly devotes much of its time to Josephine’s life in the years leading up to her encounter with Napoleon. Kirby spoke about the hard psychological work she and Phoenix put into crafting their nuanced portrayals of the two iconic French monarchs.

“Joaquin studies the psyche, and the psyche of Napoleon is so strange,” Kirby said. “The film feels like that. It’s kind of quirky and there’s an intensity to it. Napoleon wasn’t stoic and wonderful like Russell Crowe in Gladiator. He was a dictator, actually a war criminal. It couldn’t be startling, because this man killed hundreds of thousands of people, unnecessarily in my opinion. And for what? To get an empire for what? In the end it all came together anyway. This runaway psyche is dangerous as hell and very strange. And this is a portrait of it.”

Napoleon is currently slated to hit theaters on Wednesday, November 22, and stream on Apple TV+ at an unspecified later date.

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