When two filmmakers try to make the same project, it’s often a race to see which one gets in front of the cameras first. After all, with the abundance of movie choices every week, it’s hard to ask audiences to pay for the same movie twice in the same year – even if the directors and take on the material are vastly different.
As some of you already know, director Paul W.S. Anderson and Doug Liman are both developing Three Musketeer projects. Both are planning to film this year, but it looks like Anderson’s is going to be the first one out of the gate as Summit has just announced it’s picking up domestic rights to the 3D swashbuckler and they aim to release the film next summer! To meet the release date, Anderson will start shooting this August.
For more on the rival projects and casting, hit the jump:
As we reported just a few days ago, Anderson’s project has been gaining momentum the past few days as they already have a cast:
Playing the lead role of aspiring Musketeer, D’Artagnan, is Logan Lerman (Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief). Ray Stevenson (Punisher: War Zone), Luke Evans (Clash of the Titans), and Matthew Macfadyen (Frost/Nixon) will play the three musketeers, Porthos, Athos, and Aramis respectively.
Then you have the villains, which is a real casting coup for the production. Christoph Waltz is Cardinal Richeliu and Mads Mikkelsen (Casino Royale) as Rochefort. Anderson has also cast his wife Milla Jovovich to play Milady de Winter, Athos’ former love who is being likened to a “17th century Bond girl” (shudder). Oh, and Orlando Bloom has been offered the role of bad guy, the Duke of Buckingham.
Needless to say, the project looks quite good.
On the other hand, over at Warner Bros., Doug Liman is still developing his take on the material, but they don’t plan to shoot until this fall. Unless the script is close to going and they can start to shoot around the same time, I don’t know how they’ll beat Anderson to the screen.
Like a few years ago when dueling Sherlock Holmes projects were being developed, it really is all about being first. Perhaps you remember when Will Ferrell and Sacha Baron Cohen were getting ready to make their version of Holmes. After Downey’s version was a success, that project faded away.
If WB and Liman are close with their version of the Three Musketeers, I’d expect to hear casting and filming announcements shortly, otherwise this might be one of those projects that never gets made.