Ridley Scott loves making long movies. In 2021 alone he saw the release of both The Last Duel and House of Gucci, which combined ran over five hours. His forthcoming biopic about Napoleon is super lengthy, too, clocking in at a reported 158 minutes. (For some context, that’s still six minutes shorter than Mission: Impossible 7.) But Scott is also an early adopter of “director’s cuts,” so we may one day see a cut that’s much, much longer.
In an interview with Empire (in a bit teased out by Deadline), Scott revealed that while the theatrical cut of his Joaquin Phoenix reunion is a lumbering two-and-a-half hours, that’s nothing on the “fantastic” cut he made that runs about 270 minutes. That’s about four-and-a-half hours. If that seems excessive, it’s not even the longest film about the notorious French emperor: That would 1927’s Napoleon, which is 330 minutes, or five-and-a-half hours.
Will viewers ever get a chance to see it? Maybe! Scott said he hopes Apple, which footed the bill for the epic, to “eventually screen it.” He teased that it features more about Joséphine, Napoleon’s wife, played by Vanessa Kirby, before she shacked up with the future exilee.
Scott is no stranger to releasing longer and different versions of his films. Blade Runner was essentially rescued by the 1992 director’s cut, which undid some of the damage execs did to his original version. His crusades epic Kingdom of Heaven hit theaters at around two-and-a-half hours, only for Scott to later add 50 minutes for home video. Even the original Alien saw a reissue with one additional scene thrown in. So it’s not unlikely there’ll be more Napoleon to feast upon.