By Darren Franich
March 04, 2013 at 05:35 PM EST
Evening Standard/Getty Images

Scientists estimate that, at any given moment, Steven Spielberg is working on roughly fifty different projects. A film adaptation of Robopocalypse, another HBO World War II mega-miniseries, another Jurassic Park movie, a TV show or three — and that’s not to mention his favorite hobby, revealed by the New York Times, of occasionally just sprinkling his magical filmmaking pixie dust on his friend’s movies. But over the weekend, Spielberg said that he’s currently collaborating with one of the greatest directors in history…who, admittedly, has been dead for over a decade. Talking to Canal Plus on French television, Spielberg said that he is currently adapting Stanley Kubrick’s Napoleon, a longtime passion project for the late filmmaker.

Kubrick never got around to making Napoleon, for a variety of reasons. (With typical restraint, he apparently told studio executives that he wanted Napoleon to be “the best movie ever made.”) But Spielberg has a novel approach to the material. “I’ve been developing Stanley Kubrick’s screenplay for a miniseries, not a motion picture,” he explains, while also noting that Kubrick wrote the original script in 1961. (This wouldn’t be the first Kubrick project that Spielberg has resurrected: Before he handed the reins over to Spielberg, Kubrick developed A.I. for decades, a fascinating story you can read about in this 1999 EW piece.)

When contacted by EW, Spielberg’s reps had no further information on the Napoleon project. It’s probably still in the very early stages — and anyone with even a slim knowledge of world history can imagine that the project will be hugely expansive. While you’re waiting for more news on the project, check out Spielberg below talking about Napoleon — he comes on at 9:50.

Two important questions. 1. Is Daniel Day-Lewis already working on his French accent? 2. Is this whole Kubrick thing just an elaborate smokescreen, designed to make us think that Spielberg isn’t just making Bipolar Napoleon?

Follow Darren on Twitter: @DarrenFranich

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