Apple hunts Oscar glory again as Ridley Scott’s Napoleon gets cinema release date

A still from Ridley Scott's Napoleon film, with horses charging into battle.
(Image credit: Apple)

Apple’s next big cinematic hope is getting a theatrical release ahead of streaming on its Apple TV Plus service. Napoleon, a sweeping epic helmed by legendary director Ridley Scott, will launch exclusively in cinemas on November 22, 2023, in partnership with Sony Pictures, before eventually hitting the streaming platform.

Starring Oscar winner Joaquin Phoenix as the titular military mastermind, Apple describes the film as “an original and personal look at Napoleon’s origins and his swift, ruthless climb to emperor, viewed through the prism of his addictive and often volatile relationship with his wife and one true love, Josephine, played by Vanessa Kirby.”

It’s not the first time Scott and Phoenix have teamed up, with the pair delivering another historical epic in the Russell Crowe-starring Gladiator back in 2000. Could lightning strike twice?

A busy Apple TV Plus year approaches

It seems like Apple certainly has caught the Oscar-winning bug following the 2022 surprise success of CODA, which picked up last year’s Best Picture award. And even during a relatively quiet year it still picked up the 2023 Academy Award for Best Animated Short for The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse.

This year looks set to be even bigger for the service. The recently-released Tetris, starring Taron Egerton garnered praise; documentary STILL: A Michael J. Fox Movie hasn’t left a dry eye in the house among viewers; Ghosted pairs two bankable Hollywood stars in Chris Evans and Ana de Armas for “a high-concept romantic action adventure” while Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon starring legends Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro looks set to also court the awards circuit. If that wasn’t enough, Apple’s also got perhaps the most heavyweight cast of the year lined up for spy thriller Argylle, with Henry Cavill, Sam Rockwell, Bryce Dallas Howard, Bryan Cranston, Catherine O’Hara, John Cena, Dua Lipa, Ariana DeBose and Samuel L. Jackson, and more set to star. Plenty of new additions to add to our best Apple TV Plus movies list, by the looks of things.

In other words, if you’ve not tried out Apple TV Plus yet, this looks like the year to do it, what with Severance season 2 on the way, too.

Gerald Lynch
Editor in Chief

Gerald Lynch is the Editor-in-Chief of iMore, keeping careful watch over the site's editorial output and commercial campaigns, ensuring iMore delivers the in-depth, accurate and timely Apple content its readership deservedly expects. You'll never see him without his iPad Pro, and he loves gaming sessions with his buddies via Apple Arcade on his iPhone 15 Pro, but don't expect him to play with you at home unless your Apple TV is hooked up to a 4K HDR screen and a 7.1 surround system. 

Living in London in the UK, Gerald was previously Editor of Gizmodo UK, and Executive Editor of TechRadar, and has covered international trade shows including Apple's WWDC, MWC, CES and IFA. If it has an acronym and an app, he's probably been there, on the front lines reporting on the latest tech innovations. Gerald is also a contributing tech pundit for BBC Radio and has written for various other publications, including T3 magazine, GamesRadar,, Real Homes, MacFormat, music bible DIY, Tech Digest, TopTenReviews,, Brandish, Kotaku, Shiny Shiny and Lifehacker. Gerald is also the author of 'Get Technology: Upgrade Your Future', published by Aurum Press, and also holds a Guinness world record on Tetris. For real.