Historian Dan Snow has broken down the trailer for Ridley Scott’s upcoming biopic about Napoleon Bonaparte, starring Joaquin Phoenix.
The teaser for Napoleon was released on Monday (July 10) and gives fans their first glimpse of Phoenix as a French military commander who lived from 1769 to 1821 and led France to victory during the Wars of Independence.
The film, directed by: gladiator Filmmaker Scott follows Napoleon’s rise to the throne while chronicling his volatile relationship with Josephine, played by The crown Star Vanessa Kirby.
While viewers were wowed by the trailer (and amused by the soundtrack), Snow, 44, used TikTok to break down the multiple historical inaccuracies on display.
“I love historical epics, I love Ridley Scott, I’m going to see this film,” he said at the beginning. “[But] It’s not a documentary, we know that much!”
The TV presenter began with the film’s poster, which reads, “It came out of nowhere. He conquered everything.”
“He didn’t come out of nowhere. His father was indeed an aristocrat,” corrected Snow. “He didn’t conquer everything. He conquered quite a lot. It was very impressive, but he didn’t conquer everything.
“…He did not conquer Britain. That goes with ‘everything’, so…”
The trailer also teases the execution of Marie Antoinette – the last Queen of France before the French Revolution. She is portrayed in the film by Irish actress Catherine Walker, who has long, blonde curls.
“I love that scene — Marie Antoinette didn’t look like it,” Snow said. “She famously had her hair cut very short for the execution and hey – Napoleon wasn’t there. He was at the other end of France.”
Snow’s other sticking points included a scene showing Napoleon’s campaign in Egypt, which wasn’t fought at the base of the Pyramids as the trailer suggests, and Napoleon leading a French cavalry charge: “He never did that!” But it looks cool.”
Snow is the author of The Battle of Waterloo Experiencewhich tells the story of Napoleon’s famous defeat by the armies of the Seventh Coalition in 1815.
Fans also had some confusion over elements of the trailer. For one, Phoenix speaks with his American accent while Kirby speaks with her usual English accent.
Many people also commented on the rather unexpected pinprick in the clip.
The trailer is accompanied by a slowed-down cover of 2000’s Radiohead track The National Anthem.
Napoleon will be released on Thanksgiving weekend 2023 in the US. The film will be released on Apple TV+ at a later date to be announced.