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Scarlett Johansson's Napoleon Film to Go Ahead After Pacino Battle

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Dec 08, 2005 | 6:46am EST

Hollywood actress Scarlett Johansson has beaten Al Pacino in the race to get their planned Napoleon Bonaparte movies on the big screen, following a bitter battle.

Early last year, it was announced that Scarface star Pacino planned to play the Frenchman in a project called The Monster of Longwood, an adaptation of a Staton Rabin novel about Bonaparte's last days and his relationship with a young British girl named Betsy who befriended him after he was exiled to the tropical isle of St. Helena.

The storyline is similar to Johansson's Napoleon and Betsy, in which the stunning actress takes on the role of Betsy.

As a result, The Monster of Longwood producer Howard Rosenman has called in the lawyers to halt the opposing project, claiming Napoleon and Betsy writer Rebecca B. Kennedy had written the first draft of the Longwood project—and that Johansson has flirted with his picture since she did a reading with Pacino just a few months beforehand.

Furthermore, Rosenman claimed the actress' mother and manager, Melanie Johansson, was attached as associate producer to his project—but she then shifted to produce Napoleon and Betsy.

But the battle seems to have ended in Johansson's favor, with an official announcement going out today that Benjamin Ross will go ahead with plans to write and direct the independent movie.

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