Vanessa Kirby Replaces Jodie Comer in Ridley Scott's 'Kitbag'

Ridley Scott is returning to his historical roots with his latest project, Kitbag, a military and political drama about Napoleon's rise to power on and off the battlefield. Joker star Joaquin Phoenix will be playing the lead role of Napoleon Bonaparte, the French military leader and famous emperor who ruled France between 1804 and 1815.

In October 2020 it was announced Killing Eve and award-winning actress Jodie Comer would be starring opposite Phoenix as Empress Josephine, Napoleon's wife. The movie will also explore their volatile marriage which was annulled in 1810 by Napoleon due to the lack of an heir and their complicated love for one another.

However, it has emerged Comer, who recently worked with Scott on The Last Duel and is currently the focus of best actress Oscar buzz, is no longer starring in the film, with the role of Josephine being filled by fellow British and award-winning actress Vanessa Kirby.

Unfortunately, Comer had to drop out of Scott's Kitbag due to scheduling issues with her first West End stage production, Prima Facie, a one-woman play about a female lawyer who is forced to confront her own morals against the law and will run from April to June 2022.

Speaking on The Hollywood Reporter podcast, Awards Chatter, Comer shared the news with host Scott Feinberg.

She said: "Unfortunately, due to COVID and changes of schedule, I don't think I can make Kitbag work right now due to a scheduling conflict."

Taking to Instagram to confirm the news, Kirby posted a screenshot of a Deadline article announcing the news. She captioned the picture: "Honored to be joining you on this journey @ridleyscottcg @scottfreeprod @appletv."

Production on Kitbag is set to begin on January 15 for Apple Studios, Scott revealed in an interview with BBC Today.

Other cast members confirmed on the film so far include Youssef Kerkour, who can currently be seen in Netflix's Stay Close.

Who Is Vanessa Kirby?

Vanessa Kirby is best known for her role as Princess Margaret in the first two seasons of The Crown.

For her performance as Martha in the critically-acclaimed drama film Pieces of a Woman, Kirby received an Oscar nomination for Best Actress.

Her other well-known credits include Hattie Shaw in Fast & Furious Presents Hobbs & Shaw and The White Widow in Mission: Impossible—Fallout.

She will reprise the role of The White Widow in the upcoming film Mission: Impossible VII.

You will be able to see Kirby next in the thriller Suddenly, where she will appear alongside Jake Gyllenhaal, and in Adam Leon's Italian Studies, which she also executively produced.

Kirby will also star in The Son as Emma, the sequel to The Father, alongside Hugh Jackman, Laura Dern, Zen McGrath, and Anthony Hopkins.

Kitbag will begin production in January.

Jodie Comer Vanessa Kirby Kitbag
Jodie Comer (L) and Vanessa Kirby (R). Jodie Comer has had to withdraw from "Kitbag" and will be replaced by Vanessa Kirby. Getty