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For Black Friday, we've got a special offer on History Hit subscriptions. You can access all of our award-winning original documentaries and ad-free podcasts for just one pound or one dollar a month for four months. Sign up at historyhit. Com/subscribe using code Black Friday pod at checkout and you'll get nearly £30 off our normal monthly price over your first four months. Hi, everyone. Welcome to Dan Snow's history hit. Unless you are living in St. Kilde with the internet turned off for the last six months, you will know that Sir Ridgeley Scott's new film, Napoleon, is about to hit the big screen. Friends, the big screen is the place to see it. Let me tell you. Bradley Scott, the man, the legend, he's 85 years old. He is smashing out movies at a prodigious rate. He makes $100 million movies like $100 podcasts. He is the man who brought you Gladiator, Blade Runner, Alien, the Martian, Black Hawk Downe. He's one of the greatest directors of all time. Buddy Scott's had an extraordinary life. His father was away with the army. He was born in South Shields in the north of England, moved around constantly. He developed a fascination for cinema from his great uncle, who was a pioneer of cinema and opened many movie theaters around Tyneside.


Now he bestrides this narrow world like a colossus. I was the petty man who walked about under his huge legs peeping about to find myself a dishonorable grave, or more precisely to find myself a very honorable hour of podcast interview time. Sir Riddley Scott and I met up in a swanky hotel in London. We sat beside each other. We hung out. We talked about movies. We talked about his occasionally slightly unorthodox historical opinions about Napoleon and his military campaigns. But you can forgive the man a lot. He talked me through the movie. You're going to hear us talking through some clips. This, friends, is Sir Riddley Scott, one of the greatest of all time, talking about Napoleon and lots of other stuff besides. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. T minus 10. The atomic.


Bomb dropped on Hiroshima. God saved the game. No black, white unity till there is first some black unity. Never to go to war with one another again. And lift off, and the shuttle has cleared the tower.


Riddley, thanks for coming on. Why Napoleon? And why now? The big man?


In many respects, he is one of the great curiosities in history. Anytime, anywhere, you're looking at Charlemyn, Alexander the Great, I got horribly misquote, but I said, Stalin, Adolf Hitler. I said, This is a... Well, no, there's 400 books being written about the Pony Bonaparte, 400. So clearly he's one of the more interesting historical figures you could possibly imagine, both as a military, politician, leader, emperor, everything. He always stuck in my mind. And it wasn't because I knew that Stanley had considered doing Napoleon Bonaparte, but it's partly to do with my early encounter with French way of Life. I was an 18-year-old drove to France, loved it. My first experience ended up in a village called Saint-Troppé. I didn't see Bridget Bade because she's probably my age. She'd be 18. I'd love to have met Bridget Buddard at 18, can you imagine? But she was in the village, and I never saw that. But the village was marvelous. And I was experiencing French food, which in those days would be steak, fruit, and dodgy red wine, right? Still is beautiful. So I lay on the beach in the sun and based on myself with olive oil, I think it was the best sun, tan, roacheneck possibly.


What I was actually doing is roasting myself. So it was a very bad experience. And then later years, I became very successful in advertising and had to shot in France a lot for a French company, and had my own company in Paris. So I was steeped very much in French culture. Then my first film would be The Duelists, which ironically was about Napoleon. You never seen Napoleon, but it is about Napoleon and his army where he decides to bring the new working class officer to the fore with an aristocratic officer who collide. That is fundamentally the story. It's a culture clash. Then from that, I shot in a wonderful place in the door-to-door and I couldn't forget that. Then I jumped to a film beginning of the actually COVID. It was right back in Doordogne, one kilometer from where I shot my first film. It was called The Last Dual. In The Last Dual I said, Well, I should do Napoleon. I shot a climate Napoleon then with the writer. So that recent, that's about four.


Years ago. And isn't it funny that when you were basing yourself on that beach that's meters away from where you would have landed in 1815 at the start of 100 days? Yes. What a wonderful life. Okay, so did you feel I should do Napoleon in that it's a monumental subject? I think I've done my apprenticeship. I'm ready for Napoleon. You can't just do a Napoleon film.


Straight out the bag. No, I've been ready for anything for years. My success in advertising was pretty amazing because at the time in my era, Alan Parker, Adrian Line. Then later, my brother, Tony Scott, we caught the wave of this new culture called advertising because the advent of television advertising, we turned it into what I think was an art form. So we influenced the world in terms of how to advertise. And that influence, I think, influenced how movies would look, how movies were cut. Advertising was at its best at that point.


And when you're making movies, presumably one gigantic character at the heart of the movie is good for storytelling because you've.


Got an actor-It's a lot easier with all the peripheral characters around it. And normally when you're inventing fiction, you're usually trying to pick up somebody who is actually a problem or has a problem or has many problems and is the larger than life character. That's what we do, it's storytelling.


And then you get a good actor to play that character, right? Yes. In this movie, you can watch Phoenix on that screen. There's no limited amount of time I could just watch him. And he doesn't have to do that much, does he?






He's well-directed, of course. No, there's a lot of talent in not being able to do much. Yeah, exactly. There's a lot going on. I mean, that's part of the talent. The fact that you have to watch him is it. Yeah.


How did you work with him? Because there's so many versions of Napoleon, aren't there? There's the man that everyone's screaming, Vivalon Perer. There is the lover. But you guys have teased out a version of Napoleon I think is fascinating. He's a little bit awkward sometimes, isn't he?


Well, this comes from Joachim, because I'd done one version of the script, and then I could only think of Joachim. He was always the man, not just because I'd done The Gladiator with him, the Prince of darkness of Rome. I enjoyed the experience and I enjoyed the outcome. But really, I thought, Napoleon... Wakeem looked like Napoleon. He looked like him. I kept looking at his eyes, This is whatthe point. So I passed it by and said, What do you think? And he couldn't believe that I wanted to play the role in Bonopart. That was the initial reaction. And then little by little, we crept into it. Then I had a script which I could send to him. And then with Joachim and as the artist he is, I mean that he really is an artist, an artist. There was a lot to say. So we sat down for many days, re-discussing who this man may be because he said, I don't see him on the page. Who was he? I thought, given Napoleon's short stature, and Napoleon was considered short at the time, which is five foot seven, wasn't that short? It was normal. But the wicked English press would draw these wonderful cartoons and all of the trains being this little short man with very large, tall lady.


And also all the politicians were much bigger than he was. So was he unsure of himself? Unconfident in himself? I think, for sure. And anybody who's that lacking in confidence but has a buried ego somewhere, that's a kindling for fire. And so he wants to come out and wants to prove himself. And so that's how it begins because he was a talented gunnery lieutenant officer. He was clearly knowledgeable about molding and melting steel and making cannons. He knew about the technology of what they call the hot ball, where they saw a ball at a ship which was actually on fire and set ignited. And so Napoleon was a talented gunnery officer. And his first opportunity came, they had a big problem of the English were blockading ports. The biggest port to blockade was Toulouse. And so Barras, who was a funny way, was almost like not military necessarily, but somehow found himself in command of the French Army and Mency, many other things had this recommended by his brother, my brother, talented gunnery officer. And he met him, and I think he just took potluck and hope for the best. He went to Toulouse to find that the general in charge was a court painter.


And of all things, he was talented at painting fruit. So he went to the base and saw complete neglect, lack of leadership, and just took over.


You haven't done well for a painter. You told me on previous occasion that at heart you were an artist and a.


Painter as well. No, It would know the best thing that I ever did was go to art school. I went to a very provincial art school called West Hartlepool, which is in Teesside. I then became very good and I got into the Royal College and I then spent three years in the Royal. So I'd seven years in art school.


But you told me you still storyboard everything.


You're allowed to draw and ask for. Well, I drifted back into, because I could really had a good hand and I could really draw and really paint. But I suddenly realized I should use it to prepare my film. Because when you delegate a storyboard, it uses a lot of times, explanation, explaining what you want to do. Frankly, I could draw it faster than explaining it. So eventually I stopped storyboarding it and would draw it myself. So Napoleon's storyboard is.


This thick. I was going to say that must have been a... That in.


Itself is a- Well, it's not thick, figures. You're literally drawing close-up mediums like white shots. So sometimes I haven't got the location, so I'll draw the location. They look at the drawing then go find the location.


That in itself sounds like a work of... That should be in the British Library.


Well, yeah, it's pretty good. It's pretty good. It's a pretty good stuff.


And we should say, when I heard you were doing the play, I was like, This is very exciting. My goodness me. Is it going to be the story of 1815 or the Astolitz campaign. No, you did the whole thing. Why did you want to do the whole thing? Because that is a massive undertaking.


Well, he did 66 battles, so I can take the highlights of some of the best one. One of them has to be Waterloo, which is demise. One of them has to be the complete lack of judgment with Moscow and then the retreat. And I think he went out with 600,000 men and came back with 40,000.


He lost.


Half a million men. But then the one I thought showed his talent and strategy was the Austrians were with the Russians around the corner, I'm going to go to them. I'm going to make myself evident that I'm here the other side of this big lake. We will have to attend to each other in the battlefield. I will let them come to me because they're going to come to me. I'm going to lay myself wide open to being a lure on the edge of a lake. I'll put a camp there with lots of farms and tents and things like that. And they will think, Oh, the army is careless, not hiding themselves. They are seen, they are report by Cossacks. He has his own men, the forest, who see the Cossacks. The man can report that we have been discovered. Good, have the men sleep. Tomorrow we'll fight. And so they come in for him. He's hidden. He's had trenches dug in preparation for foot soldiers. Cannons are hidden and cavalry is hidden in the forest. So when the army comes, he's going to drive most of them from three different sides and push him up the lake.


Once they're on the lake, he's going to reveal the cannons and he's going to bomb up. The lake will split. They're all die.


It is epic, true or false to the words. Why did you want to do the whole career? Did it just have to be that?


Well, it kept cropping up. It was more interest and more interest and more interest. But then inside of that, I wanted to do something beyond just the battles because action can get boring. Sex in the bedroom can get boring. So it had to be what was Napoleon's need for this woman. Again, it has to be beyond her prowess in the bedroom to run out. So he was obsessed with her. And I think she was his soulmate, but she wasn't reciprocating. She didn't really love him, I don't think. And I think because of that, it made him love her more. He was obsessed with her. And so it shows in his letters, which are sometimes juvenile, loving, or sexual, they're embarrassing to read. They're like, Oh, my God, he really wrote this. Trying to turn her on in his letters. She never read them. It bundled them in her bedroom. She never opened them, which says something she didn't really care. And then once he said to her, We must be divorced because you cannot give me a successor. So in a way, it was tragic for him. And it became at that moment, tragic for her because she lost her security.


But he looked after her so well, the generosity was enormous. So I think, was there affection for her to him? Definitely toward the end. And therefore she started to write to him. So in the film, you discovered this afternoon, I made the movie, She dies, but there's still a way to go. They're still Waterloo. And I lost her. I missed her. So we started looking at her letters. And I then got the actress to read the letters to him and started to have her presence felt by the letters of his voice. So it worked really well.


It worked well. Let's look at this clip of two and we pulled out some of the battles. I want you to talk me through how you made these extraordinary scenes. This screen is not big enough to.


What is this on?


No, this is a-.


I want to watch it on the IMAX. These guys are Sappers, and the uniform they have on their right there is actually accurate.


Yes, okay. You went.


To a lot of trouble with the uniform. They're well protected with by that armor. They explode. I don't think it'll save them, frankly, but it'll help them a bit.


And artillery limbs very large, right? Yeah.


Because, as you say-He was terribly nervous. That too long, scared to death. That's the artillery officer that's playing off the daughters up there. Get the daughters up there.


What we're looking at here is not CGI. No, it's.


All real.


But we live in a world now where everyone's talking about AI and doing everything fake. I mean, your career will be marked behind the golden age of massive films.


I think you feel, when it's fake, when it's AI, you know it's somehow artificial. All of this is real, is true.


Because I remember when I watched the battle scene in Gladiator and it took the breath out of my lungs the first time I ever seen it. And this has the same effect some of these scenes. And you show Napoleon in the thick of the fighting. He does actually get bayonetted in the.


Leg, I think. It's all accurate. What happened is all true. His horse took a ball in his chest. And what we thought of after was he goes then he loved his horse, put his hands inside the horse, took out the ball, said, Give this to mom. Really? To his brothers there.


He's going to get the horse. And you're right. But Napoleon, you're playing Napoleon here at this point. He's nervous at this point. It's his first-.


Oh, scared to death. Yeah.


This is the point at which he either walks onto the great stage of history or he stumbles and.


Falls off it. And he must have gone through many feelings at that moment of fear, fear of failure. Once you go this far, you've got it. It's better to die in the battlefield than fail.


That's interesting. And also, he's not a man of enormous wealth and influence. This is his shot, isn't it? This is his shot. And I think.


That comes across. He was then given an acting from lieutenant, acting Brigadier General as a reward for him. That then hung on him. Then you go through his uniform, so suddenly he's the general.


It's amazing. And Riddley, you show some ships in this. Am I abiding? Ambition is that you're going to make a massive film about British naval power in the 18th century. You come.


Close in this movie. You know the very end scene he shot with Wellington? That room, stateroom is Nelson Stateroom. That is cool. That is fantastic.


That is very cool. So you shot on there. I love seeing those British ships. For you, real locations human beings, that matters?


You can always redo anything digitally, but you're not really in charge when you're doing digitally. It's a painstaking process. And listen, I had, particularly in Waterloo and particularly in Elstilets, there's a lot of digital help. But all that stuff going through the eyes is all real. And cannons going off. If I've got 50 cannons in foreground shooting actual cartridges, that's real. Then they said, I'm going to put another thousand at the back. It's easy. If I got 200 horses in foreground, I actually have to do that thing. I can easily put another 20,000 beyond it.


Do you ever worry that you might have been a military dictator in a parallel universe?




Got my 50-.


Why would I worry? No, I'd love to have been a free leader. This is the next best thing. I think you're right. Doing my job, ideally, is a benevolent dictatorship.


If it's possible.


What's the captain of a ship?


A dictator.


Thank you.


If you.


Don't, you've got trouble. You're a big.


Trouble, right? You're the cultural dictator.


Yeah, in a way, the trick is to be friendly, humorous, and be part of the team. But at the end of the day, there is the buck stops. I'll always fall on my own sword.


What is the greatest line in this movie?


Him. What do you think? I don't know. Okay.


I come on. I know that you think it's the same as me. You think you're so great just because you've got boats.


Oh, no, I love that.


That's the.


Greatest- Because you have Boat.




That was the day after Trafalga.


Oh, was it?




Okay. He got.


The news. Well, the Trafalgar was 18- Five?




No, it was leading up to it, just because you had a boat, because the Navy run by Nelson was formable. Yeah, it was. And if you hadn't had the Navy, the story would have been different.


Yeah, totally. But that is the greatest.


Line in the business. But he would have taken England.




And he had his brother, Colonel Bonaparte, in New York. So when he did, what was it called the Louisiana land purchase. He sold from St. Louis to a lot of the United States back to get money so he can do his master.


Honestly, if he'd been able to take on the British Navy, North America would be all.


About that. Well, more than that. When he was in Santelina, there was a frigate came off, and some of them got message that a frigate was offshore would wait for him, take him to New York that night and he wouldn't leave because he was so disappointed that he thought he knew the French wanted to get rid of him. They did not want him back.


Where did you.


Shoot this? We shot this in Malta. Malta is an architectural gem. Yeah, it's wonderful. Really, architecture is medieval, renaissance, it's stunning. Madina is incredible.


I was trying to film on a tall ship, and it's the first time I heard about your movie. And you couldn't find a tall ship. Cornwall. No tall ships, they.


Said- It was.


Right then, Paul. -ridley, Scott, Scotland. He said, Everyone who's got a tall ship, ridley is basically saying, Put out the backhaul. Anyone with a tall ship come to Malta. I was like, Doesn't he know we're trying to make a little podcast?


I'm doing great.


I mean, they're gorgeous. I can see why they obeyed your call, not mine. You listen to Dan Snow's history. We're talking to Sir Riddley Scott about Napoleon. More coming up? Let's take a look at Astridis now. Let's take a look at Astridis. We've fought in December, so you've got the weather. It's nice and chilly.


Right there, you see that down there, that's an airfield. Oh, right. But the wooden is married to the wooden foreground where I shot Marks-Rudison, Gladiator.


Okay, this is where you shot the Gladiator. Same place. Okay. Yeah.


You just want them to attack this little village, which he's made into a fortress. There's no question. They'll engage them. And when they're ready, he will then introduce foot soldiers, then cavalry, now push them onto the big blank area. They haven't tweaked his eyes, then the cannons.


And here they come. You've shown Napoleon scouting himself. I mean, he.


Was very active. No, he did that. He'd actually- What.


About historical accuracy? When the historian goes, Sorry, Sir Riddley, it didn't quite happen like that, you go, Listen, if I've done enough.


With you- Well, I would say, How did you know were you there? They go, Oh, no, it's not exactly me. I said, I had 400 books written about it. So it means maybe the first one was the most accurate. The next one was already doing a version of the writer. By the time you get a 399, guess what? A lot of speculation.


But also you are an artist, right? When Shakespeare is writing about the Battle of Agincourt, it's one of the greatest pieces of art in the English language. It's not necessarily perfectly accurate.


No, but I love details in Agincore. The French had arrived were eating French food. They all had dysentry, you know that? Yeah. You know that? Yeah. Oh, yeah. So all the arts in Agincourt had no trousers because-I don't know.


Do you know what? I'm just saying I'd love to see a riddly-Skow-Agincourt, but Job's going to park that one there.


Yeah, and also the British had invented a point that was like the conchord.


Oh, yes, the Bodkin.


So the velocity had changed. So it would pier something a.


Bit different. It sounds to me like there's something in development here. I just want to say I'm not. Okay, so we got the polie.


And here he comes. Here he comes. Here's the lieutenants. Here's the infantry. So about 200 of them are real, the rest all the ones in the foreground are real and the rest are digital. Now he waits. He waits. Do you feel.


Incredibly lucky that you've been able… Or of course, you've made your life, but you've created these epic, epic films.


Every time. Yeah. Every time.


What's that like on location? You're like, I cannot believe.


All these people. Well, the first one we turned up in the big house. We shot a lot of the stuff in the big house, and there's a unit of 900 personnel there. And it's the first time I've been out in the field, and he said, Who are all these people? I said, This is all for you, James.


But as a filmmaker, this would be the dream, wouldn't it?


Oh, yeah. Well, no, I try and take my stride. You can't be afraid. You got to go on there and say, No, stop, stop, stop. You got to be able to say, Stop, it's wrong, and adjust it. But I run a film a bit like a board meeting. When you're approaching the movie, the production, the actual shooting, the whole year is about 900 %. And there's 40 HOD. So we sit around a boardroom table. I'll say, Right, page one, a problem. No, page two, a problem. What's the problem? Have you talked to him? We'll talk to him page three. That's the way you do it. And then, of course, you'll come to things where you need proper discussion. And so you find out what the real problems are.


This is that when they discover.


They're on the ice. It's good fake ice though.


That's fake ice. Oh, yeah, totally fake. Well, you didn't march an army across a real pond.


That's a playing field. That is an airport. That's great. I just spread some snow down.


Do you ever have a bad day on the movie when you're like, The loneliness has come on? Now I know what it was like.


For Napoleon outside. No, I've long gone over that. You can't wobble. If you wobble, you're in trouble. Okay. I have to say stop, it's not working. The whole thing about it is adjustment, concert adjustment. But all this is boarded. So I know I need cannons, balls coming, and people are never sure. But when you can see a cannonball, it's only going 400 miles an hour. You can see it. It's like I put it in the ball.


You can see them.


That's the strategy. Cut off their retreat!


This is an extraordinary scene on the big screen.


Is it?




We cut a large area about the size of two swimming pools, and we've got the tank and Pine will shoot the stuff.




The cannibal is hitting the water out below. That's digital. Yeah.


How close are you to that? Are you shouting at that guy?


Come on, man. No, what I do, this is about 11 cameras. Exactly. Well. So I have to be in a trailer with 11 monitors bigger than that. I'm watching everything. I was a very good camera operator, so I can talk to an operator as an operator saying, You missed this out. You're too slow, too fast. Before you go, You're too wide, you go tighter. My real film school was advertising. If you do two and a half thousand commercials personally and I'm on the camera every day, it's a great school.


This standard bear are galloping away. Such a great moment, isn't it? It's astonishing. You think he's going to get away. No, no.


Well, he's scared to death. And boom, there he goes.


And so you create a battle scene and then you famously shoot it with loads of cameras because you're a big believer. And if you don't get it right once or twice, you're probably not going to be able to.


Flog it after. Well, no, I think if you've got eight cameras or 11 cameras and you position them carefully, the geometry of the scene is essential. So you've already walked it through on the set or on the ground with the riders, with a head of stunts, you've walked it out. They know where they're going to go. They're heading towards that hole. I have two cameras at that hole. Another two. You position your cameras to receive the incoming as well as the big, wide stuff. So, of course, there are cameras in shot digitally. I can just rub them out easy. You can remove the camera. I'll have camera operators dressed in army uniforms. Frequently, you don't even see the cameras. If you look carefully, you may see cameras. Okay. That's the challenge, though. But you find the guys are in uniforms.


I can't see. Okay, I can't see the cameras. You know what? Let's go and look at Waterloo. Fire..


Take cover.


Again, this feels like a big day. For me, I'm obviously a massive history. This is my period. But this is it. We're going to.


Portray Waterloo. Bizarly, the two armies are almost two miles apart. Those cannons would fire a long way.


You got the.


Valley in there. But I've got 800 meters here, so it's a perfect ground for Waterloo because it's a slightly shallow dip. And I got the pebble because it's raining. And the reason why he wouldn't move on the morning was because of the ground. And he did not want his horses to get in and break their legs.


Did you end up rooting for Napoleon?


Well, anybody vulnerable, you tend to root for them. I found Joachim one of his biggest, most powerful things that he has is he's a very sympathetic man. He's charming and he's vulnerable.


He's vulnerable. Yeah.


And so even when he's playing the joke, he's vulnerable. I mean, it's the best temptation of a monster who's vulnerable.


And that's the interesting thing about Napoleon. Joachim Phoenix plays in both as a genius and as uncertain and vulnerable and insecure.


Completely. That's very important because that makes him more interesting, I thought. We knew by enough research, when you look at the research and understand his hesitation, he had to be vulnerable. We must hold our ground, stand fast to the last man. We must not be beat, or what will they say in England?


I love this scene. I love Rupert Everett playing-.


Isn't he great? -and it's clever.


Of you. Yeah, it's great.


That's his line. He says, I hate getting wet.


I hate getting wet. What an epic. Yeah, that's epic, isn't it? Yeah. But do you wonder whether in the future of film, who knows? But whether they'll ever have this many people replicating Waterloo ever again, or whether it's going.


To be tempted to do it again? I hope so. I hope it doesn't go away because- I will. I hope so. I think everyone loves to have a bedtime story, don't they? Now you've got that on every house in the world, very high quality screen. It's great because I think if you do it right, you can bring culture to the household. And this thing is information and culture, isn't it?


But did you go to bed at night thinking, I cannot believe I've just engaged an entire generation in the Roman Empire or now in Napoleon? There's going to be.


People out there. Well, I'm quietly proud of you, of course. I'm thrilled that I'm still allowed to do it. I'm still capable of doing it, but I'm still allowed to do it. I love it. And the key here.


Is- You've got skirmishes here, French skirmishes. Very nice.


But I couldn't do this unless my team is... I have to think it's the best of business. Everybody from every possible department, right through to the guys who reload the blanks in the rifle.


I like the Messenger with the.


Fresh horse. That was cool that I know. I invented the idea that how did they know that Bloccawhere he was. You have to put it.




A rider. You have two horse because a jockey is 150 pound. You're wanging 11 kilometers. You have another horse alongside you. You can change horses at Mid-Gallop, so you save the horse.


That's what the Mongols used to do.


Yeah, you move horse to horse. So in a way, that's your walkie-talkie. Where are they now? Four kilometers. How long? Go back and find.


A way. Find them.


No, I mean, it's logical, isn't it? Try.


And then you can't go wrong with a cavalry charge. Now, how many cavalry charges have you made in your career? And you just can't go wrong with them.


This is the first one.


I know there's a good one in the last jewels.


Oh, yeah, that's small. I mean, look at the size of that. You can't- Yeah, that's a big- That's a painting. Well, I looked at a lot of paintings and I thought, What will this say? England. He's so British, isn't he?


So British. So you've got to smell. So you've got some of those amazing paints of Waterloo.


You can smell the brandy, right?


You can smell the.


Certainly- Look at this. It's all real. It's all live.


And then here's the guards now making their way out of time.


I mean, I've added a lot of horses there.




We rehearsed moving into these blocks, which are fortresses. This is now a fortress.


Yes, Formula Square. This is brilliant. You've got the king's color, you've got the king's color. You've got the right flags there.


I mean, it's all happening. This is all real. The first four are real, the rest are digital.


That's pretty good. I think you can be forgiven of that. That's great. I mean, that is epic.


Oh, my God. But you know, to be.


Going- You've seen this a million times. What's it like when you watch this?


I'm in a room in a tube with all these monitors. No one in there. I can't have any advice. No, I want to fall on my own sword. Okay. So I say stop. I'd say, Come in. So we bring them all in. And if we're getting clogged up, we'll bring the operators into the trail. I said, Right, watch this. There, there, there, readjust. You got stunts, you got operators, and we readjust the shot, and then they go back and do it. It's very efficient. Yeah.


Well, it sounds very efficient because it sounds like everyone does exactly what you tell them all the time.


Yeah, well, somebody has to.


That's a very.


Efficient system. It's captain of the ship.


Yeah, of course.


Now, thank God, Wakeem can really ride. Oh, he can ride? Oh, yeah. He hides the fact. I said, You good horse. Well, he's really good. This is him.


So he's doing his.


Own stunts? No, I would not allow that. But him full gallop. Yeah, of course.


Well, that.


Sounds like a stunt to me. No, not really.


But this screen is not doing it justice.


No, no.


You've got to watch this on the IMAX.


I know.


Trust me, I've been lucky enough to.


See this on a big screen. Well, the IMAX is going to be stunning. Have you seen IMAX?


No, I haven't, but I've seen it on a big screen in Sony HQ.


Pretty good. That's amazing.


It was good. Yeah, I know. It's amazing.


Uncomfortable seats.


Listen, I didn't notice the seats because I was too excited. My bum was not sending any signals to my brain during this movie. You make all sorts of different movies. I mean, why the large scale? Is that just because you can? Why we attracted these.


Massive stories? Oh, because I can, yeah. But occasionally, I'll stop and do something small like Thumb on the wish.


Throw away a.


Little movie. But I've done three little films that people don't really talk about, but people see it again and again as a Good Year, Magic Man, White Squal, has so much thoughts of me.


Did you do White Squal? Yeah. I love that film.


White Squal is a great movie. Thank you. Hello.


Because there's films you could have shot about Napoleon where it's like an intimate picture of him and Joseph. You felt like you had to make a movie that matched his reputation.


Well, why not? The whole point of doing it is the scale of his undertaking, what he managed to achieve. I can't have any leader today that has achieved as much.


Yeah, Napoleon is the Napoleon of movies.


Napoleon is the Napoleon of military leaders, Itry to think. Because also, I think he had a great sense of architecture, a sense of plan. He was a great politician. He was a great bureaucrat. And he elevated the bureaucracy order of France dramatically.


How should we feel?


A lot of his methods are still used in France. They are? Yeah.


But in the publicity, you also used the word tyrant. Are you worried that this is going to be swept into the cultural, Is Napoleon good? Was he bad? How should we feel about him?


I think he was great and brutal. You have to be. He makes some pretty tough decisions and choices, right? And so how many people would die during his battles? You can maybe count the soldiers, but how many civilians suffered along the way. It's like addressing Marx Zarelius. Marx Zarelius became guilty as he got older about what he'd done. You can't be that powerful having not done a lot of massive damage.


How do you want people to leave this epic exploit? They've come out of the movie theater. They are staggering out of the movie theater. How do you want them to feel when they leave? Do you want them to be fanboys of Napoleon? Do you want them to think about the nature of power and fate?


I think everything, elated by watching such a spectacle, I try to make as real as possible. So you're learning something about history. You're learning something. I hope that people come out having learned something.


Okay. Whilst also just marveling at the.


Scale of it. I hope so. I mean, I hope that we try to.


Do our best. Well, well done for doing your best. Riddly, Scott, thank you very much indeed. I really enjoyed that. Thank you. Thank you for listening to this episode of Dan Snow's History Hit. Please follow this show wherever you get your podcasts. It really helps us. You'd be doing us a big favor. You can listen to all our episodes ad-free and watch hundreds of history documentaries when you subscribe. Download the app on AppStores and Smart TV or go to historyhit. Com/subscribe as a special gift for listening this far, proper tenacity that. If you use the code Dan Snow at checkout, you get 50 % off your first three months. And if you're an Apple listener, you can subscribe for new ad-free podcast episodes within the Apple app.