Deadline has learned that director Cary Fukunaga (True Detective, Beasts of No Nation) has exited the TNT series The Alienists to focus on his other film project The Black Count.
The film which is setup at Sony Pictures focuses on the true-life story of Brigadier General Thomas-Alexandre Dumas, a French nobleman that became the highest ranking man of color to serve in any European army.
Born to a French nobleman and a slave woman of African descent, Thomas-Alexandre Dumas became the highest-ranking person of color to ever serve in any European army. A favorite of Napoleon for a time, Dumas was also the first non-white to become a brigadier general in the French military. Dumas’ exploits were used as the basis for the novels of his son Alexandre Dumas. Better known today than his father, the younger Dumas wrote The Three Musketeers and The Count Of Monte Cristo.
Scheduling conflicts are said to be the reasoning for Cary parting ways with the TNT series, as he has multiple shows and films in different stages of development.
Cary was also recently in talks to direct Stanley Kubrick‘s unmade Napoleon film turned mini-series for HBO with Steven Spielberg set to executive produce.
HBO is preparing a miniseries based on Stanley Kubrick’s research for a film dubbed his “greatest never-made film” — a planned story on French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte’s 19th century struggle to bring Europe under his total control. True Detective Emmy winner Cary Fukunaga is in talks to direct the mini, which is in development at the premium cable network.
Kubrick spent years in the 1960s researching the film he intended to shoot in France, Britain and Romania, using 30,000 members of the then-communist country’s army for vast battle scenes.
Plans for the project were shelved — after Kubrick had written a script and created a meticulous database of more than 17,000 images of Napoleonic-era paintings and artifacts — partially because the release of Soviet director Sergei Bondarchuk’s films War and Peace and later Waterloo made it a tougher commercial proposition.
The project is inspired by Kubrick’s work-in-progress original script and will be informed by the Kubrick estate and his extensive, personally curated archive.
The Black Count could serve as an excellent companion to Kubrick’s Napoleon series (think Saving Private Ryan and Band of Brothers). It’ll be interesting to see Fukunaga tackle so much of the Napoleonic War. I’m also curious if there might be casting crossovers between the series and the film.
While I’d love to see Cary reunite with his Beasts of No Nation lead Idris Elba in the role of the iconic Dumas, it’s more than likely the filmmaker will look at other actors for the part.