Killing Eve and The Last Duel star Jodie Comer has exited Ridley Scott‘s historical drama Kitbag and Vanessa Kirby is now joining the cast in her place to take on the role of Empress Josephine. On Tuesday, it was reported that Comer was exiting the project over scheduling for the Apple project which is set to begin production this spring. Kirby will star opposite Joaquin Phoenix, who is playing Napoleon Bonaparte in the film (via Deadline).
Kitbag is scripted by The Man in the High Castle’s David Scarpa who previously collaborated with Scott on All the Money in the World and explores Napoleon’s origins and his swift climb to emperor through the lens of his addictive and frequently volatile relationship with Josephine. Scott and Kevin Walsh are producing the film for Scott Free.
Comer’s casting in Kitbag was previously announced in October 2021. At the time it was reported that Comer was Scott’s first choice for the role after working with her for The Last Duel. Scott was reportedly “blown away” by Comer’s performance in that film and considers the Josephine role to be an incredibly important part of the narrative of Kitbag.
In addition to Killing Eve, Comer is known for her roles as Elizabeth of York on The White Princess, Rey’s mom in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, and as Milly/Molotov Girl in the Ryan Reynolds-led blockbuster Free Guy.
“If there’s something that makes me go, ‘This is terrifying,’ then I think, ‘Jodie, this is what you need to do,'” Comer said of choosing roles in a 2020 interview with Net-A-Porter. “I think a challenge is very important, otherwise you feel like you plateau and you’re just bobbing along and not feeling satisfied.”
As for Kirby, she is known for her portrayal of Princess Margaret in the first and second seasons of Netflix’s The Crown. She was also nominated for an Academy Award for her role as Martha in Pieces of a Woman. She has also been cast alongside Anthony Hopkins, Hugh Jackman, and Laura Dern in The Son, will appear with Jake Gyllenhaal in Suddenly, as well as reprise her role as The White Widow in the seventh and eighth installments of the Mission Impossible franchise. She will next appear in Italian Studies which is set to be released in theaters and on demand on Friday, January 14.
What do you think about Kirby stepping in to take over the role of Josephine in Kitbag for Comer? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section!