Ridley Scott has pointed out the thing that separates him from his filmmaking contemporary Martin Scorsese – prolificness.
In a recent interview, Scott said that in the time it has taken Scorsese to make his latest Oscar hopeful, Killers of the Flower Moon, he has made four films.
Scott, who returned to the director’s chair for Napoleon, starring Joaquin Phoenix as the 19th-century French emperor, made the comments in an interview with The Times.
Asked if he shared Scorsese’s concern about time running out in life, the Gladiator director responded: “No, I don’t think about it. I get up in the morning and say: ‘Ah great! Another day of stress.’”
“Since Gladiator, I’ve made 19 movies – I’m busy,” Scott said, adding that “since [Scorsese] started Killers of the Flower Moon, I’ve made four films”.
Napoleon, which tells the true story of Napoleon’s rise to power and his tumultuous relationship with Joséphine de Beauharnais (Vanessa Kirby), has divided critics.
Some have hailed the historical epic a “masterpiece” and others have critiqued the film for its historical inaccuracies. Scott previously told those picking holes in Napoleon to “get a life”.
In a recent interview with BBC News, the British filmmaker issued a scathing response to French critics who disliked his new movie.
“The French don’t even like themselves,” he said. Clarifying that he did not mean all French people, he recalled that “the audience [he] showed it to in Paris loved it”.
Phoenix, too, has defended the film, telling The New Yorker that Scott’s take on the Napoleon story is less about the absolute facts and more about the director’s unique view of the character.
“If you want to really understand Napoleon, then you should probably do your own studying and reading,” the Joker actor explained. “Because if you see this film, it’s this experience told through Ridley’s eyes.”
Napoleon will be released in cinemas on 22 November before it’s eventually released on Apple TV+.
Phoenix and Scott previously worked together on the 2000 blockbuster epic Gladiator. Phoenix played Commodus in the film, the adversary of Russell Crowe’s Maximus Decimus Meridius.
It was initially announced in 2018 that Scott had plans for Gladiator 2. Now, four years later, the sequel featuring Paul Mescal and Connie Nielsen has landed a release date of 22 November 2024.