Sooner or later, Hollywood is going to have to start coming up with original ideas again. You know, like the olden days. Now — make no mistake: I’m not opposed to adapting novels into films. That’s something that’s been done for as long as the medium has existed. But it’s the relentless re-doing of the already-been-done that’s getting a bit tiresome.
Then again, that also brought us Sherlock Holmes, and I’ve got no complaints about that.
In that vein, we reported a while back that there are two adaptations of The Three Musketeers in the works. One is being developed by Paul W.S. Anderson. Let us disregard that one and hope that Mr. Anderson abandons it and sticks to what he knows — namely, zombified action movies starring Milla Jovovich. Just please, stay away from the Aliens and Predator franchises.
The other is being developed by producer Lionel Wigram, who also produced last year’s RDJ success Sherlock Holmes, which kept the original setting but updated the style somewhat. He’s apparently seeking to do the same with the Musketeers, and he may have found his director — Doug Liman.
Interesting. Liman is, overall, a fine director with a resume that has a few personal favorites on it (Swingers, the Bourne trilogy) and a couple of fun afternoon-killers (Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Go). He’s got zero experience with period pieces, but that doesn’t mean much — Guy Ritchie didn’t have much either, and he and Downey knocked Holmes out of the park. Plus, a big-ticket adaptation of Dumas’ classic will likely draw some major names, and between Bourne and the Smiths, Liman clearly can wrangle the stars effectively.
Honestly, we’ve had a spotty history in the last 20 years when it comes to the ole Musketeers. There was the 1993 version that had some bright spots — namely, Oliver Platt, Tim Curry and Michael Wincott (I fucking love Wincott). But it also starred Chris O’Donnell (aka the blandest actor alive) and the lesser of the Sheen and Sutherland clans. Then we had 1998’s The Man in the Iron Mask, which somehow manages to be a better film, yet less entertaining. It starred John Malkovich, Jeremy Irons, Gerard Depardieu and Gabriel Byrne, not to mention a young Leonardo Dicaprio. Another weird hodgepodge of actors, albeit excellent ones (hey, who gives a shit about accents. Everyone! Talk as you wish!).
Personally, I’d rather just see an adaptation of Arturo Pérez-Reverte’s The Club Dumas (let us not speak of The Ninth Gate… ever), but I doubt that’s in the cards. Cannonballers — review that thing, would you?
In any event, I’m not sure when this would actually happen — Liman also has Jumper 2: Jump With A Vengeance on his horizon. Regardless, he’s still in negotiations, so nothing is written in stone yet. But I’ve no major objections to it, as long as he leaves the shaky cam behind. Besides, what looks better to you:
The Three Musketeers — from the director of The Bourne Identity!
The Three Musketeers — from the director of Mortal Kombat!
Yeah, I thought so.