The trailer to the brand new The Three Musketeer (in 3D :P) is up. Before I show you guys what I think of the new Musketeers film,I thought it would be cool look back on the film history of the Musketeers. There have been many film versions of the famous Alexandre Dumas story. Lets look at some of them….
1921, Starring Douglas Fairbanks as d’Artagnan.
1933, A contemporary revamp with John Wayne (!!) playing d’Artagnan (now renamed Tom Wayne)
1939, a comedic version of the tale starring Don Ameche as d’Artagnan.
1948, with Gene Kelly as d’Artagnan, and Vincent Price as Richeliu.
1973, with Michael York as d’Artagnan, and Charlton Heston as Richeliu.
Interesting enough, it will take 30 years exactly for the next adaptation to happen…
1993, with Chris O’Donnell as d’Artagnan and Tim Curry as Richeliu.
This was my first exposure to the Musketeer story, a movie that was clearly made in a post Kevin Costner “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves” world. Notice how everyone is accent less. I don’t think it’s a secret that the success of the Costner movie was the main reason this movie was made (down to even getting Prince of Thieves composer Michael Kamen to do the score and to have Bryan Adams to also contribute a song like he did for Robin Hood.)
2001, with Justin Chambers as d’Artagnan and Stephen Rea as Richeliu.
I remembered that I really wanted to like this one, and the idea of combining the energy of asian action cinema sounded like a great idea. The problem is that they couldn’t pull it off, and instead it feels like a limp attempt at best.
So it’s ten years later, Hollywood decides to try it again. The recent success of the Guy Ritchie Sherlock Holmes movie motivated the reason we’re getting another one, and much like how Disney’s Musketeers film resembles the Costner movie, this film clearly has a Holmes influence.
2011, this time with Logan Lerman as d’Artagnan and Christoph Waltz as Richeliu.
I think it’s safe to say this version will not be a straight adaptation of the book. Personally, I have issues with the director, Paul W.S. Anderson. He’s yet to make a movie that I really enjoyed. The cast seems good, and there are some nice looking fight scenes in this. It being in 3D doesn’t impress me, but it is what’s popular now. (They thankfully didn’t go and call it The 3D Musketeers…)
And that’s the interesting thing about having a new Three Musketeers film. All of these versions of the story are clearly products of their time, and I kinda like that. In a way, I’d argue that there should be a new Musketeers film every 10-20 years. It’s a story that can be told again, and again. Each version of the Three Musketeers will be special for that generations film goers, and I’d say why not. If doing a new film will keep the memory of this story alive, I see this as good thing.
Now excuse me, I’m going to see if I could start my pitch of a reimagined Three Musketeers film set in ancient china with Shaolin Monks……or my maybe it should be set in ancient Japan and have it be with samurais… or maybe the future…..or maybe…
Ah, a friend of mine reminded me about Jackie Chan’s Wheels on Meals, which I guess is the closest to a Hong Kong Musketeers film…kinda…