David S. Goyer Signs on to Direct ‘Count of Monte Cristo’

Published 2 years ago by , Updated February 16th, 2014 at 9:24 am,

David S. Goyer has had an impressive impact upon mainstream cinema in recent years. Not only did he co-write all three films in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, he also has sole writing credit for this summer’s most anticipated comic book movie, Man of Steel, and is also on the writing team for Legendary Films’ Godzilla remake.

His reputation as a director is a little lacking in comparison to his reputation as a writer, since he hasn’t directed a feature since the best-forgotten 2009 horror film The Unborn; however, Goyer’s recently been warming up to directing again with his new TV series, Da Vinci’s Demons, which premieres on Starz next month.

THR has just released details linking Goyer to a new project: Constantin Films’ planned adaptation of Alexandre Dumas’ classic novel The Count of Monte Cristo. Goyer has officially signed on as director for the film, which has a script by Pompeii screenwriter Michael Robert Johnson. When asked about the project, Goyer had this to say:

“During my career I’ve enjoyed re-invigorating and contextualizing classic characters that are relatable to contemporary audiences. 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.”

the count of monte cristo 570x309 David S. Goyer Signs on to Direct Count of Monte Cristo

The 2002 version of ‘The Count of Monte Cristo’ starring Jim Caviezel

THR also has some insights from an anonymous source as to how Constantin would like the film to turn out, and why they chose Goyer and Johnson as the creative team. Apparently they are modelling their Monte Cristo remake on Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes films, and have brought Johnson on since he wrote the script for the first film. The production company is also trying to draw on the tone of the Batman franchise. According to the source, the phrase being tossed around in pitches and discussions is “19th century Dark Knight”.

The premise might sound exciting, but I can’t help but feel that it’s a mistake to base the design and feel of an entirely new adaptation around two other franchises that happen to have been financially and critically successful. Sherlock Holmes was a hit largely because it was a fresh and different take on a much-adapted series of stories, smoothly retelling them as action-adventures.

 David S. Goyer Signs on to Direct Count of Monte Cristo

Likewise, the Dark Knight trilogy was different in many ways to the Batman films that had come before, dropping the more cartoonish elements in favor of grittiness and realism. Poaching a creative talent from each franchise in the hope of synthesising whatever magic ingredient made them successful just feels like a questionable tactic for giving this latest adaptation a fresh and original feel.

There’s already an ongoing adaptation of The Count of Monte Cristo in the form of ABC series Revenge, though since that show is set in the Hamptons in modern times, and the Edmond Dantes character is a woman, there hopefully won’t be too much confusion between Revenge and Goyer’s film.


Will keep you updated as this project develops.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

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  1. Umm, this is already a movie. A great one at that

    • I have to agree with you, the Jim Caviezel version was a great adaptation, but at the same time I am interested to see how Goyer will take on director duties to make his version of the story come to life.

    • Um…seriously!? The Guy Pierce version was a horrible adaptation of one of the greatest stories ever written. The acting was excellent, and a great introduction to a would-be Superman Henry Cavil, but the film itself was cheesy Hollywood crap that entirely missed the point of the novel.

      Terrified about Foyer directing (Blade Trinity, anyone?) but I’ve been hoping for another shot at this amazing story…

      • It’s Goyer, and the last recreating of ‘The Count of Monte Cristo’ was fantastic. Many will disagree with you.

        • Oh no, a typo; making my opinion invalid!!! God forgive me, please!!!
          The last bastardization of it was a watered down, sugar frosted version of the novel, with a repulsive Hallmark Card ending.
          Many will disagree with me, yes, just as many disagree with me when I say Twilight sucks.

          • Unless the world is mostly made up of solely 13-year-old girls who just hit puberty, I don’t think people will disagree with you about Twilight.

          • I’m inclined to agree. I thought it was alright when I first saw it, but after reading the novel I couldn’t really enjoy it as much given how much they butchered the source material. Still, there are some good moments when the revenge is happening.

            Granted, I don’t think a film adaptation could really ever do the book complete justice unless done carefully. Only a T.V. series could really do all the various subplots in that novel.

          • Twilight does suck!

    • I agree! The old movie was AMAZING!!! There is absolutely no need to remake it.

  2. If the anonymous source is correct, it means Constantin decided the director of Blade Trinity was the best man for the job. :| If Mr. Goyer was working in the capacity of co-screenwriter, I could see him being handpicked. Part of me thinks this might end up being more like the 2011 Three Musketeers than Sherlock-meets-TDK. If I remember right, there isn’t that much action in the novel to do what those films successfully delivered.

    • First off, this Monte Cristo will not be based on the novel so much as be “suggested”. Secondly, Goyer & Company really don’t give a rat’s ass about accuracy, anachronism or authenticity as respects the times portrayed in the book or previous films. The goal here is to ripoff…er, pay homage…to the kinds of movies that are making money hand-over-fist at the box office — abased on the financial metrics of history, trend, and outlook. Third, Goyer’s ability is not the primary reason for his being put in the chair; his successful movies as a co-writer (not the flops) plus his work as sole writer of MAN OF STEEL and footage from his DaVinci TV epic has put him in the chair for Monte Cristo. Nobody has to really tell anybody all this since this is how that exclusive area of Hollywood works on success by association; the belief that the “tinsel” of a former success will rub right off onto the next project…and other superstitions.

  3. Great, another remake of a movie I love. That’s exactly what I was asking for…

    But then again, the “Sherlock Holmes meets Dark Knight” idea sounds awesome, and it IS David S. Goyer, who I think is a total bada**. However, I agree with Jason here. This sounds like it could easily wind up being another 2011 Three Musketeers.

  4. I liked the 2002 version.

  5. Never seen the original, but I loved ‘Sherlock Holmes’ and ‘The Dark Knight’, so that’s definitely a draw.

    The thing is, I’m skeptical about Goyer (as a writer and as a director). I can’t recall any of his work (outside of collaboration with Nolan) that I actually liked:
    This is the who wrote Ghost Rider 2 and directed Blade Trinity (although in his defense, it must have been tough working with Snipes, who was high 24/7). Yes, he wrote the screenplay for the Dark Knight trilogy, but he had the Nolan brothers holding his hand every step of the way.
    So in that respect, he’s anything but a solid writer/director, and imo, very hit-or-miss most of the time.

    …It’s an interesting prospect, for sure though.

  6. Dark Knight and Sherlock Holmes eh? I’m skeptical of that when describing one of the best literary masterpieces of all time. I’ve always thought the best way to do a film adaptation of this book was to either make it a miniseries of trilogy of films. I mean the book is well over a thousand pages and covers a lot of French history. I’ll start making assumptions once casting is revealed.

  7. George Clooney for Edmundo Dantes

    • -10

    • Michael Fassbender would be a better fit.

  8. The 2002 version with Jim Caviezel was just awesome (although the story doesn’t match the book). I can’t see how you can make this a ‘Sherlock Holmes meets Dark Knight’. It’s clearly a character study with a vengence payoff.

    I may go see it just to see how it compares to the 2002 version (or the book), but not if it’s going to be some crash-bang explosion thing. The 2002 movie actually had very little violence, which is what made the plot all the more entertaining.

    I remember watching at least a portion of the ’75 movie with Richard Chamberlain. That one was good too (from what I remember of it.)

  9. Goyer is a hack. A terrible writer. Especially dialog (when he’s on his own…. not co-writing.)

    Look at his record. Here are a few examples:

    BOTH Ghost Rider movies
    Blade Trinity
    Nick Fury: Agent of Shield starring David Hasselhof

    This is why I fear for Man of Steel. Superman will open his mouth and Goyer’s horrible, cornball dialog will come out.

  10. One might imagine, at this point (or at some point) Goyer and others in the film industry, having seen the success of this formula (The Dark Knight/Sherlock Holmes), might consider other pre-20th Century figures and epochs beyond the Grimm fairytales/Alice in Wonderland/Wizard of OZ.

    We now can expect Moses, Noah (can Jesus be too far off?)…and possibly coming soon David and Goliah, Samson and Deliah. Hercules seems a certainty, and will be joining 300 (Spartans), Troy. And have we seen the last (remake) of Robin Hood and King Arthur? Doubt it. Remember when movies were over they used to say “The End”; they lied.

  11. Big fan of the 2002 version, I was kind of hoping Nolan would get his hands on this…not too sure if Goyer will give the dialogue justice, but I guess time will tell
    Definitely excited for this regardless!

  12. NO!Just No. ENOUGH with the remakes already! Why ruin a perfectly good movie with Goyer’s Muck, I am STILL trying to forget Blade:Trinity. I will stick with The 2002 version with Jim Caviezel, Thank you Very much.

  13. Oh my god…..i am so sick of people comparing movies to TDK. Lets be original people.

  14. I loved the original movie, but it was before I read the book. The movie would be great if it wasn’t called “The count of Monte Cristo”.

    The book is seriously the best novel I’ve ever read, and past the point of Dantes in prison, is completely different from the 2002 movie. This book would be best served by a trilogy, as it is incredibly epic and long. It’s impossible to do it justice in one 3 hour film.

    • I agree with that, and make it Lord of the Rings Epic

  15. realy my god escape from new york highlander count is hollywood so dead they cant find anything original.i mean there are thousands upon thousands of books out there that would make great movies.and all they can do is remakes reboots and prequels ugh and then all they wanna do is crap cgi and green screens.instead of actual people in costumes.oh well long as folks keep goin to this rehashed crap they will keep churning it out

  16. The Jim Caveizel version was a terrific movie that featured great acting and Richard Harris so all you cynical twits can go suck on that. It embodied the tale perfectly and no I’ve never read the whole book, but it got all the narratives and basic plot details done right.

    And PS after watching a character going through that crap for years, who WOULDN’T want to see the guy get the girl at the end?! (to whichever troll called it “Hallmark” .yawn. please.”

    • The movie was great but the second half, after the prison, was absolutely nothing like the book. Again, this book would be best served by a trilogy. You should do yourself a favor and read the book, it’s incredible.

    • Pretty ignorant to make such a comment without haven read the book. The ending of the novel is beautiful & is arguably the entire soul of the story; to change it to a “guy gets the girl” fluffy ending completely misses everything the novel was trying to say.

      Also, why is anyone who’s opinion differs from the popular thought automatically called a troll? I’m not arguing for arguments sake; I truly hated the film for legitimate reasons.

  17. I don’t get it. The old version was already great. And I enjoyed it very much. Why remake it

  18. The 2002 movie is a 10.

  19. Really? AGAIN? /slaps forehead

  20. They remake a movie because the original film had a terrific idea but poor production values, or the re-do is what happens when there is a poverty of fresh ideas. David Goyer does a remake because he has this Dark Knight/Sherlock Holmes pitch in his pocket that he pulls out with the need to stay relevant with “young” Hollywood and a certain demographic. That demographic goes to see the remake because they’ve never read the book (“You mean there’s a book? Who reads a book?”) and care more about how a movie looks than what it has to say. The part of that demographic that does read (even the book the movie is allegedly based on) have no other new blockbuster-styled movies to go see — except cartoons — so take as sooth what appears to be a “live-action” cartoon like the DARK KNIGHT and SHERLOCK HOLMES. It’s a sad state that major American motion pictures are in and I personally despair for moviemakers and moviegoers alike; but the Goyers and the popcorn-eaters got the best go, for now. For now.

  21. Let there be the film project for the Frank Wildhorn musical! Michael FASSBENDER as Edmond Dantes and Andrew SACHS as Abbe Faria!

    To TV fans Andrew’s more famous as Manuel from FAWLTY TOWERS, but he played Edmond in a BBC dramatised radio show.