Well, ok then… this is quite the coincidence because it was just last week Thursday that I posted THIS entry on Tom Reiss’ novel, The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo, encouraging filmmakers/production companies/studios/whoever, to consider adapting the novel to film.
This evening, it’s been announced that David Goyer has signed on to direct another adaptation of Alexandre Dumas’ The Count Of Monte Cristo. for Constantin Films, who were responsible for the recent *ultra-modern* spin on another Dumas tome, The Three Musketeers, and who intend to approach this new adaptation of The Count Of Monte Cristo in very much the same way… unfortunately – like a graphic novel.
Recalling my post on Reiss’ novel, the life of the subject of that book, Alexandre Dumas, the father (aka The Black Count) was the stuff of legends, and became fodder for his son’s novels. The Count Of Monte Cristo and The Three Musketeers
for example, were, in part, based on Dumas, the father’s real-life
story; his ending just wasn’t as happy as it was for the fictional count
in the 2002 film that most are probably familiar with, starring Jim Caviezel and Guy Pearce (the last time Dumas, the son’s novel was adapted. There’ve been several film adaptations of the novel).
Tom Reiss’ book itself is
both a riveting true action/adventure story of this one man’s life, as
well as a peek into what was essentially the modern world’s first
multi-racial society. Sadly a film (whether
scripted narrative or documentary) has never been made on The Black
Count, Alexandre Dumas, the father, and
I certainly won’t hold my breath for a Hollywood studio to option the
rights to the novel and produce a film based on it, EVEN THOUGH they
continue to milk stories from the novels written by his son – stories
that are, in some cases, inspired by the father’s real-life and exploits.
So instead of adapting the son’s novels, why not, for once, tell the father’s story on film, since he’s the basis for some of the son’s stories – notably The Count Of Monte Cristo? I
bought a copy Reiss’ book soon after it was published, and I’m finally
getting around to reading it. I’m
about 1/2 of the way through, and it’s quite riveting. Well-written, and
reads with all the thrills of a novel written by Dumas’ son, likely the
most popular Dumas. The father’s story is just as compelling and exciting, and deserves a big screen adaptation. But there’s little interest in a Black Count I guess… or as the title of Reiss’ novel states, The Real Count Of Monte Cristo.
Dumas, the father, The Black Count, was born in Saint-Domingue (present-day Haiti) in 1762, the
son of a black slave woman and a rebel French aristocrat. He was
briefly sold into slavery but eventually made his way to Paris where he
was schooled as a sword-fighting member of the French aristocracy. He rose up through the ranks rather quickly, and would eventually
command armies at the height of the French Revolution, in audacious
campaigns across Europe and the Middle East.
He eventually became the
highest-ranking black leader in a *modern* white society, at that time.
By 32 years old, he was appointed commander-in-chief of the French
army, which is the equivalent of a four-star general here in the USA.
latter years of his life were unfortunately spent in captivity, languishing
for years in an enemy dungeon (like the fictional Count Of Monte Cristo), before he
would be released, all his accomplishments virtually forgotten,
eventually dying of an incurable illness at just 43, in poverty, leaving
a wife and 3 children – one of them being Alexandre Dumas, the son, who
would go on to become the prolific and notable author.
Napoleon went to extraordinary lengths to completely bury the
memory of Alex Dumas, The Black Count, ensuring that he was all-but forgotten, until
But, nope, no feature film adaptation of that story.
Michael Robert Johnson penned the new Count Of Monte Cristo script that David Goyer will direct from, which THR says will be akin to Warner Bros’ recent retooling/reimagining of the typical Sherlock Holmes movie.
So I suppose that means expect lots of slo-mo shots of punches to the face, acrobatics and such. Snooze…