Given that David Goyer has had some success – albeit working alongside the brothers Nolan – in reworking the Batman universe, and that he's trying to do the same for Superman, we suppose it was only a matter of time until the screenwriter/director turned his attention to another careworn property and tried to give it a big screen rejuvenation. His target on this occasion? Alexandre Dumas’ The Count Of Monte Cristo.
Actually, the spark of the idea came from producer Jeremy Bolt, no stranger himself to rebooting classic tales after working on The Three Musketeers with Paul WS Anderson. He, along with Constantin Film, is backing the new project, which will see Goyer back in the director’s chair for the first time since 2009’s The Unborn (at least on the big screen – see below.)
Dumas’ tale, which was last made in 2002 with Jim Caviezel and Guy Pearce starring, is set in 19th century France, where Edmond Dantes is betrayed and falsely thrown in a rotting dungeon. Lingering on a prison island, he meets a fellow inmate who teaches him how to be a better man, and points him in the direction of a fortune. Emerging years later, he finds the stash, reinvents himself as a rich nobleman and seeks revenge on those who took away his freedom and the woman he loved.
Though Goyer is directing, he hasn’t written this one – that duty has fallen instead to Michael Robert Johnson, one of the scriptwriters behind Paul WS Anderson’s own new historical adventure, Pompeii. “During my career I’ve enjoyed reinvigorating and contextualizing classic characters that are relatable to contemporary audiences,” Goyer tells The Hollywood Reporter. “Michael has written an excellent script, and I’m going to enjoy bringing our take of the rich and textured world of Monte Cristo to the big screen.” Just make it less silly than Three Musketeers, please, Dave.
Goyer has also been keeping his directorial skills up to snuff overseeing two episodes of the new TV series he’s created for US network Starz. The show, Da Vinci’s Demons, is set to air next month across the pond.