• The MPA has seemingly given an R-rating to
    Napoleon: The Director’s Cut
    , suggesting it could be released in the near future.
  • The director’s cut has earned the R rating for the same reasons as the theatrical cut, but also includes “some nudity.”
  • Ridley Scott has previously teased the existence of a four-hour cut of
    , and it could fix some of the theatrical cut’s problems.

Napoleon‘s Ridley Scott director’s cut has now seemingly been confirmed. Hitting theaters in November 2023, the Apple Studios historical epic stars Joaquin Phoenix as the eponymous French emperor, chronicling his legendary military exploits and his troubled personal life. The Napoleon reviews were mixed from critics and the film struggled to make an impression at the box office, but interest has seemingly remained high for a director’s cut of the film, which Scott has previously teased may run longer than four hours.

A new MPA document shared now suggests that Napoleon: The Director’s Cut is indeed on the way. The director’s cut has earned an R rating for “strong violence, grisly images, sexual content, some nudity and language,” which is essentially the same as the rating for the original save for the addition of the nudity. The MPA rating certainly bodes well for the director’s cut’s existence and could suggest that its coming sooner rather than later, but it doesn’t reveal whether it will be the rumored four-hour version.

Will A Napoleon Director’s Cut Fix The Theatrical Version’s Problems?

What Critics Said About Ridley Scott’s Historical Epic

As of writing, Napoleon holds a lackluster 58% score on Rotten Tomatoes, earning it a “Rotten” designation. The audience score is similarly low at 59%. While criticisms of the movie varied, a key complaint is that the movie walks an awkward line between chronicling Napoleon’s military exploits and his romantic endeavors, ultimately painting a complete picture of neither one despite its two-hour and thirty-eight minute runtime.


8 Napoleon Movies You Should Watch After Ridley Scott’s $220 Million Failure

Though Ridley Scott’s Napoleon was supposed to be an epic retelling of the Emperor’s life, it pales in comparison to similar films about this time.

Napoleon features some stunning battle sequences, and there are also some powerful moments of drama between the French military leader and his lover, Joséphine (Vanessa Kirby). The connections between these two aspects of Napoleon’s life, however, and the historical context surrounding them, are perhaps lacking, and this could be where a director’s cut excels. If the director’s cut is indeed a significantly longer film, it could fill in the gaps that the theatrical version was missing, providing a more complete and more compelling portrait of his life.

director’s cut would likely be released directly onto Apple TV+, forgoing a theatrical run.

A four-hour director’s cut would allow audiences to spend more time with the talented Napoleon cast, but such a runtime could also potentially exacerbate problems relating to pacing. The 158-minute runtime of the theatrical cut, after all, already made the film quite long. It remains to be seen whether a four-hour Napoleon director’s cut is actually on the horizon, but an alternate version of the movie certainly looks to be coming.


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