Peter Greenaway Prepping Film Based on Russian Travels of Alexandre Dumas

Peter Greenaway Venice Film Festival - H 2012
Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images

Peter Greenaway Venice Film Festival - H 2012

Controversial British director will retrace the steps of writer best known for 'The Three Musketeers.'

British director Peter Greenaway is preparing to shoot a film about a trip across Russia made in the mid-19th century by Alexandre Dumas, the famed French author best known for his novel The Three Musketeers.

The project – working title Volga –  is based on notes Dumas made on his trips across Russia published in Adventures in Czarist Russia, or From Paris to Astrakhan, Russian charity the Timchenko Foundation, which is supporting the film, said.

Dumas first visited Russia in 1858 and made the country his home for two years. During his travels along the river Volga, he recorded observations both of contemporary life and the history of the 15 cities he visited.

"It's an ambitious project to create a 150-minute film showing the multinational, multi-confessional and multi-ethnic character of the Volga region," Greenaway said in a statement. 

"It's a project where the past and the future, authentic culture and art, fiction and propaganda – everything is intertwined, where different religions – Christianity, Buddhism and Islam – peacefully co-exist. We will look for documentary shots that reveal life in the cities and villages, the history of trade fairs, Russian hospitality, images of corruption and political intrigue, of fine arts, religion, hunting, family habits, interiors and much other. The film is about more than Dumas describes in his book."

Greenaway's more well known works include The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover and Prospero's Books. His most recent film Eisenstein in Guanajuato, which premiered in Berlin last February, stirred controversy in Russia for suggesting that famous Soviet director Sergei Eisenstein had a homosexual affair.

Production of Volga is planned for 2016 with a release scheduled in 2017.