The movie industry’s love affair with Alexandre Dumas’ classic characters, the Musketeers (aka Athos, Porthos, Aramis and D’Artagnan), has been a long and extremely fruitful one, spawning, over the last 100 years, countless adaptations, spoofs and spin-offs of drastically varying quality. Heck, the last 20 years alone has seen Hollywood crank out Stephen Herek’s 1993 Disney-produced “The Three Musketeers,” 1997’s Leonardo DiCaprio-tastic “The Man in the Iron Mask,” helmed by Randall Wallace, and Peter Hyams’ 2001 crapfest “The Musketeer.”
The next aspiring swashbuckling-crazed director hoping to capture some of Dumas’ golden literary magic on celluloid? Paul W.S. Anderson, the visionary auteur behinds B-movie epics such as “Mortal Kombat,” “Resident Evil,” “Event Horizon,” “Death Race,” and the recently-wrapped “Resident Evil: Afterlife.” Something of a human punching-bag for on-line film fans, due to the not-insignificant levels of terribleness in his past efforts, Anderson’s take on “The Three Musketeers” will no doubt take some serious liberties and focus heavily on surface flash as opposed to anything resembling substance. Oh, and it will be presented in 3D (a shocker, I know).
Anyhow, as leaked by the Hollywood Reporter’s Heat Vision blog, 2011’s “Musketeers” has begun assembling a cast, and it is a bit of an oddball selection so far.
Signed to appear is Ray Stevenson (“Punisher: Warzone”) as Porthos, Luke Evans (“Clash of the Titans”) as Athos, Matthew Macfadyen (“Robin Hood”) as Aramis, Mads Mikkelsen (“Casino Royale,” “Clash of the Titans”) as the sinister Rochefort and Mila Jovovich (Anderson’s wife and “Resident Evil” lead) as Milady de Winter, a former lover of Athos who’s being described as “a 17th Century Bond Girl.” (Right. Well, like I said, liberties will be taken …) The story also mentions that the production is eager to physically force Orlando Bloom back into period garb to play lead nemesis the Duke of Buckingham, and Logan Lerman (“Percy Jackson”) is in negotiations to tackle the role of D’Artagnan (yes, this will conflict with him possibly getting the Peter Parker gig in the dreaded “Spidey” reboot. Media outlets will have to find another gawky go-to rumor favorite).
Most depressing, however, is the fact that “Inglourious Basterds” scene-stealer and Oscar-winner Christoph Waltz is signed, sealed and delivered to play the villainous Cardinal Richelieu. Look, I’m all for the dude taking the odd pay-cheque gig, but with “Green Hornet” looking rather disastrous he needs to do his darndest to avoid diminishing his golden name, and working with Paul W.S. Anderson (pictured above) is not exactly wonderful for the resume. Even Mila Jovovich might quietly agree with this sentiment.
Regardless, with a September production start-date, and a script by Anderson and Andrew Davies (“Bridget Jones’s Diary,” “Brideshead Revisited”), this 3D “Three Musketeers” stands poised to beat Doug Liman’s own developing “Musketeers” adaptation to theatres. Yes, you read that correctly, there stands an extremely good chance that the future holds two such films in store for your viewing pleasure. Time will tell if audiences share the same intense love for Dumas as Hollywood seems to…
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