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Kitbag Release Date, Cast, And Plot - What We Know So Far

As a director, Ridley Scott became a household name with 1979's "Alien" and 1982's "Blade Runner," both of which remain popular sci-fi classics. Today, he has nearly 30 feature-length film directing credits to his name, including 1991's "Thelma & Louise," 2000's "Gladiator," and 2015's "The Martian" (via IMDb). The directing titan is so prolific he even has two movies slated for release later this year: "The Last Duel," starring Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, and "House of Gucci," starring Lady Gaga and Adam Driver.

Joining Scott's long list of directorial credits is "Kitbag," his next project, currently in pre-production at Apple Studios. Announced in October 2020 by Deadline, the upcoming historical film will delve into Napoleon Bonaparte's rise to power as a 19th-century leader. David Scarpa, who penned Scott's 2017 pic "All the Money in the World," is the screenwriter on "Kitbag" (via IMDb). Scott will also serve as a producer on "Kitbag" with his production company, Scott Free Productions. In May 2020, Variety reported that Apple had landed a first-look deal with Scott Free Productions for television projects. With "Kitbag," it seems the Scott Free-Apple relationship is expanding. In January 2021, nearly a year after Scott Free's initial first-look deal announcement, Deadline reported Apple Studios would finance and produce "Kitbag." 

Here's everything else we know so far about Ridley Scott's "Kitbag," including release date, cast, and plot.

What is the release date of Kitbag?

We still don't have an official release date for "Kitbag." However, it was revealed to Variety in September 2021 that "Kitbag" is set to start filming "closer to the new year." This means shooting will start very late in 2021 — likely December — and move into early 2022. We can speculate further on the release date by looking at one of director Ridley Scott's upcoming features, "House of Gucci." Per Wanted in Rome, the project began filming in February 2021 and wrapped up in early May 2021, according to Harper's Bazaar. The movie arrives in theaters on November 24, 2021, about six months after wrapping.

Keeping the "House of Gucci" filming schedule in mind, if "Kitbag" takes a similar approach and blocks out about two and a half months to shoot, then we can expect it to enter post-production around mid-February 2022. If the movie was ready for release as quickly as "House of Gucci," then we could see "Kitbag" premiere as early as mid-August 2022. For now, it's best to speak generally and project a late 2022 (or perhaps early 2023) release date for "Kitbag."

Who is in the cast of Kitbag?

Two actors have signed on for "Kitbag" so far: Joaquin Phoenix and Jodie Comer. Phoenix, who aligned with the project in October 2020, will play famed French military leader Napoleon Bonaparte. Jodie Comer, who was announced in September 2021, will play Napoleon's first wife, Josephine. 

Phoenix recently starred in — and won an Oscar for — "Joker," in which he played Arthur Fleck, aka famous DC supervillain Joker. In addition to "Kitbag," Phoenix will soon be seen in director Ari Aster's next film, "Disappointment Blvd.," and Mike Mills' "C'mon, C'mon" (via IMDb). Comer, meanwhile, is best known for her starring role on the British spy thriller series "Killing Eve," which concludes with its upcoming fourth and final season (via The Hollywood Reporter). Lately, she appeared alongside Ryan Reynolds in "Free Guy" and in 2019's "Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker" as Rey's mother (via IMDb). "Kitbag" will mark her second collaboration with director Ridley Scott, following "The Last Duel."

The "Killing Eve" star spoke to Variety about signing on for "Kitbag" and how her Oscar-winning co-star was a motivating factor to do so. Comer said, "I just jumped at the chance to work with Ridley and his team again and the idea of working with Joaquin, who's someone who I hugely admire. I think for me, what I'm learning is [...] you learn and you grow so much by being and working with the people that you're working alongside."

What is the plot of Kitbag?

According to the film's IMDb page, "Kitbag" will present 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." Deadline's October 2020 report on the project adds that "Kitbag" will also dive into some of Napoleon's famous battles, as well as his "relentless ambition and astounding strategic mind as an extraordinary military leader and war visionary." As for the film's title, the outlet reveals it comes from the saying, "There is a general's staff hidden in every soldier's kitbag."

"Kitbag" will not be the first time the French military and political leader has shown up in a movie. IMDb notes that Napoleon is the "most portrayed/referenced person from real life to be captured on film" and subsequently lists 28 titles that feature the Frenchman. The earliest of these depictions was 1913's "The Battle of Waterloo," with Ernest Batley taking on the role.

Napoleon undoubtedly had an action-filled life that offers plenty of material for "Kitbag." We can also expect the movie to focus on his relationship with Josephine, thus setting it apart from other movies about the French leader. According to Britannica, Josephine was 32 years old when she married Napoleon, then 26, following the death of her first husband. Both went on to have extramarital affairs and eventually divorced when the two didn't produce an heir — with a lot of relationship drama in between. We can't wait to see how the historically fraught couple's relationship plays out on screen with "Kitbag."