IO – Vanessa Kirby will play Josephine in the film “Kitbag” directed by Ridley Scott, replacing Jodie Comer in the role, who had to exit due to scheduling conflicts, an individual with knowledge told TheWrap. Deadline first reported the news.
Kirby will star as Josephine to Joaquin Phoenix’s Napoleon Bonaparte in a film that focuses on Napoleon’s origins, his rise to becoming emperor and his volatile relationship with Josephine. Ridley Scott is directing, and David Scarpa wrote the screenplay. The film is set at Apple and is meant to begin filming in Europe later this month.
Comer broke the news of her exit on THR’s “Awards Chatter” podcast, explaining that she had a “rubbish” scheduling conflict because of schedules moved around due to COVID and didn’t feel she “can make ‘Kitbag’ work right now.” Comer is also set to begin rehearsals for a West End stage production called “Prima Facie” in March, one that will have limited engagements between April and June.
Comer is also currently on the awards circuit for “The Last Duel,” which Ridley Scott also directed, and the fourth season of her series “Killing Eve” drops in February.
Vanessa Kirby was Oscar nominated for her work in the Netflix drama “Pieces of a Woman” from 2020, and also last appeared in the film “The World to Come” opposite Katherine Waterston and last year’s “Italian Studies.” She’ll next reprise her role as the White Widow in the “Mission: Impossible” franchise’s seventh and eighth films. She’ also well known for her work as Princess Margaret on “The Crown.”
Kirby was tapped over the summer to star alongside Anthony Hopkins, Hugh Jackman and Laura Dern in The Son—Florian Zeller’s follow-up to his Oscar-winning debut feature, The Father. She will also soon star opposite Jake Gyllenhaal in the survival thriller Suddenly from A Prophet scribe Thomas Bidegain, and reprise her role as The White Widow in the seventh and eighth installments of the Mission Impossible franchise, to which she was first introduced via 2018’s Mission: Impossible – Fallout.
Kirby will next be seen in Adam Leon’s Italian Studies, a Magnolia Pictures drama which she also exec produced, which is slated for release in theaters and on demand on January 14.
Kirby made her film debut with a minor role in the crime drama The Rise (2012), and rose to international prominence with her portrayal of Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon, in the Netflix drama series The Crown (2016–2017), for which she won the British Academy Television Award for Best Supporting Actress and received a nomination for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series. She garnered wider recognition with her roles in the action films Mission: Impossible – Fallout (2018), and Hobbs & Shaw (2019). (rp)