In today’s edition of Stories You Probably Never Thought You’d Read, Arctic Monkeys frontman Alex Turner explained his pitch for a LEGO Napoleon movie on the band’s latest album.
The British quartet’s latest album, The Car, debuted on October 21 and among its often opaque lyrics is an equally mysterious reference to LEGO. The eighth track, Hello You, begins: “The LEGO Napoleon movie, written in glass tubes filled with noble gas, underlined with sparks / I admit it’s made for waking thought.”
Elaborate is a word for it. Another might be ‘inscrutable’ – but frontman Alex Turner has now explained the thought process behind the lyrics to Radio X, deconstructing his vision for a LEGO movie based on the life and times of the 18th century French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte.
“Well, there is [LEGO Star Wars] and LEGO Batman…” Turner told Radio X. “I was imagining these guys taking the Napoleon script that Stanley Kubrick never did. I think maybe it was something like that – they gave it to the guys at LEGO.
While in post-production on 2001: A Space Odyssey, legendary director Kubrick began work on a biopic of Napoleon, which he said would become “the best movie ever made.” He wrote a script, scouted locations and even recruited the Romanian People’s Army to help film the epic battle scenes – but a perfect cocktail of prohibitive costs, the success of the 1968 film War and Peace and the failure of a similar Napoleon-themed image, all put a stop to Kubrick’s plans.
The film was never released to screens, although the script was adapted for a stage play in 2018. According to Turner, Hello You’s pitch for a LEGO version is simply part of the album’s larger commentary about the songwriting process.
“I guess in the past you would have left out anything that seemed to be on the periphery of the creative process…and probably wasn’t welcome in the lyrics of the song,” he added. “I guess there is a reference to the idea of having ideas at that time.”
“Now that you’ve mentioned it, you’ve put an idea into the world, and that sounds like a good idea to me,” replied Radio X host John Kennedy.
LEGO, Arctic Monkeys and Stanley Kubrick: not the most likely Venn diagram. The car is out now. Kubrick’s Napoleon… is not. A LEGO Napoleon movie? Well, don’t count on it.
Featured Image: AFOLgames100/lego
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