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The Count of Monte Cristo is making its way back to the big screen.
David Goyer has signed to direct an adaptation of the classic Alexandre Dumas revenge tale that is being made by Constantin Films. Impact Pictures’ Jeremy Bolt, the producer behind the successful Resident Evil franchise, is producing Monte Cristo.
Set in early 19th century France, the tale centers on Edmond Dantes, a young man betrayed and falsely jailed. While on a prison island, Dantes meets a fellow inmate who not only educates the man but also points him in the direction of a fortune. When Dantes finally escapes after many years, he re-emerges in Paris society primed to take revenge against the men who took away his love and his freedom.
Michael Robert Johnson, who wrote Constantin’s in-production disaster movie Pompeii, penned the script.
Goyer was involved in co-writing Christopher Nolan’s Batman movie trilogy, helping reboot the movie incarnation of the character after its late-’90s flame-out, and has sole screenwriting credit on the Nolan-produced relaunch of Superman, Man of Steel.
This experience helped Goyer land the new gig because Constantin’s approach for Monte Cristo will be akin to the refurbished take Warner Bros. did on its Sherlock Holmes movies as well as its DC heroes. In fact, one source tells The Hollywood Reporter that a buzz phrase for Monte Cristo is “19th century Dark Knight.” Constantin put an ultra-modern spin on a literary classic with Paul W.S. Anderson‘s The Three Musketeers, which didn’t catch on domestically but performed solidly internationally.
“During my career I’ve enjoyed re-invigorating and contextualizing classic characters that are relatable to contemporary audiences,” Goyer tells THR. “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.”
Dumas’ tale has been adapted numerous times, the most recent major one being a 2002 version directed by Kevin Reynolds that starred Jim Caviezel and Guy Pearce. The tale also inspired the ABC series Revenge, which translated the setting to the modern-day Hamptons.
Next up for Goyer is Da Vinci’s Demons, a TV thriller he created, wrote, directed and executive produced for Starz. The show will premiere April 12 and aims to tell the stories of Leonardo da Vinci as a youth in Florence.
Goyer, repped by WME and Bloom Hergott, previously directed Blade: Trinity and supernatural thrillers The Invisible and The Unborn.