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 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.

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.

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Will keep you updated as this project develops.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter