"’I’ve been developing Stanley Kubrick’s screenplay — for a miniseries, not for a motion picture — about the life of Napoleon. Kubrick wrote the script in 1961, a long time ago,’ Steven Spielberg told French network Canal+," reports movie site IndieWire.com.
The article continues, "As devotees of Kubrick know, this is probably the granddaddy of all of the helmer’s unrealized projects. ‘Napoleon’ was massively researched, with literally tens of thousands of location photos, slides of imagery and endless notes and details about the historic leader that filled up boxes upon boxes upon boxes in Kubrick’s archives (so much, in fact, that it formed the foundation of a rather amazing book on the subject). But the movie was never to be. MGM and United Artists both balked at producing the movie, which would have required thousands of extras and more, saying it was too risky in the wake of expensive endeavors like 1968’s ‘War And Peace’ and 1970’s ‘Waterloo’ that struggled to make their money back. Kubrick would eventually tackle ‘Barry Lyndon,’ which takes place 15 years before the Napoleonic wars, but he still longed to make the movie."
The story adds, "And of course, this isn’t the first time Spielberg has taken a Kubrick project across the finish line. 2001’s ‘A.I.’ first started as a Kubrick project as far back as the 1970s, and he developed it slowly right up to the early ’90s, when he then presented it to Spielberg, thinking his sensibilities would be better suited for it. Spielberg declined, but decided to tackle it after the filmmaker’s passing."