ShortList is supported by you, our amazing readers. When you click through the links on our site and make a purchase we may earn a commission. Learn more

Apple TV+'s biggest movie of the year is arriving next month

It's time to subject the small screen to some of the most epic battle scenes of recent years...

Apple TV+'s biggest movie of the year is arriving next month
Andrew Williams
19 February 2024

Ridley Scott action epic Napoleon is coming to Apple TV+ in just a couple of weeks, on March 1.

We already knew it wouldn’t be too long until Napoleon came to the service, as the film was funded by Apple Studios, but Apple has now officially announced the date.

Napoleon will arrive on Apple TV+ just after three months from its UK and US cinema debut, on November 22. It will also land just over a week before the Academy Awards, where the film has three nominations (production design, costume design, visual effects).

That said, Napoleon also had four BAFTA noms and didn’t come away with a trophy.

The film made $220 million worldwide according to Box Office Mojo, poor takings when the production budget was reportedly $200 million.

While cinemagoers didn't rush to see Napoleon, that does not mean it is not worth a watch.

Apple TV+'s biggest movie of the year is arriving next month
Image Credit: Apple TV Plus

The film had an interesting critical reception, with reviews ranging from the near-perfect — 5/5 from The Guardian and 3.5/4 from Chicago Sun-Times — to really quite bad write-ups from the likes of The Washington Post.

Napoleon is not an ordinary biopic, and has a major focus on Napoleon’s relationship with Joséphine de Beauharnais, played by Vanessa Kirby.

The man is just as often portrayed as a snivelling wretch as a master of the battlefield. And Ridley Scott didn’t go for half measures on that battlefield either. Napoleon features some of the most brutal war scenes we’ve seen in years.

Already seen the film? There’s no word of the epic extended cut version arriving in March, but it is reportedly coming to Apple TV+ later down the line.

The theatrical cut is already a hefty 2hr 38 minutes, but the extended version may weigh in at over four hours. Scott told Total Film that cut is real, and it’s coming. But he also told Sky News that perhaps the original cut is the real “director’s cut” after all.

“I think that's what the director's cut is - the two and a half hour - that's the truth of it. Because I learned early on, basically from all the films I've done, but also from early days as a commercial maker — am I communicating and how tight can I be to communicate and say everything I want?” he said.

Fingers crossed this does not mean Apple has said "no" to the extended release. Much as we'll struggle to carve four hours out of a day to see the thing, one criticism of the theatrical cut is it, in parts, feels rushed.