WonderCon 2011: THE THREE MUSKETEERS Presentation

     April 2, 2011


While this year’s WonderCon has been overshadowed a bit by the two summer tentpoles present (Green Lantern and Cowboys and Aliens), a number of other films are being featured at the convention and today we saw a presentation of Summit’s The Three Musketeers. Not that there’s really any classic work of literature in need of an update from director Paul W.S. Anderson (AVP: Aliens vs. Predator), but this Alexandre Dumas classic especially does not call for an Anderson adaptation. Nevertheless, it exists. Hit the jump for my thoughts on the Three Musketeers presentation.

the-three-musketeers-movie-image-1Things got off to an appropriate start when the moderator opened with “This is not your mother’s Three Musketeers.” This fact, given in many other iterations, was mentioned countless times throughout the presentation: “This is the new school Three Musketeers movie.” “There are no men in tights in this movie.” Okay, okay we get it. Classic literature = weak, 3D action movie with sparks and swordfights = cool.

While no new footage from the film was unveiled, the presentation opened with the teaser trailer that debuted online a week ago. There are explosions, flame-throwing dragon cannons, and Mila Jovovich jumping off the roof of a mansion and floating down in slow motion. Again, not exactly a thought-provoking adaptation of Dumas’ novel.

We were then shown a behind-the-scenes featurette, which consisted of on-set interviews intercut with footage from the teaser trailer. We saw the actors training for their fight scenes, we heard proclamations of no stunt doubles being used, and Paul W.S. Anderson appeared onscreen himself to state, “I’m an action director, so if I’m gonna make The Three Musketeers, it’s gonna have action in it.”

the-three-musketeers-movie-image-3Present for the panel were actors Logan Lerman (Percy Jackson) who plays d’Artagnan, and Luke Evans (Clash of the Titans) who plays Aramis. The two did their best to sell the film, and it sounds like they at least had fun playing with swords on set. Evans noted that Anderson pitched his take on the Aramis character as “a Batman-ninja-Terminator.” I found myself lost in thought trying to picture what that creature would look like before I snapped back to reality and realized the absurdity of what was just said. Did Anderson even bother thinking about story or was he too wrapped up in how to infuse each character with the maximum amount of bad-assness?

At the end of the day, the audience for Anderson’s The Three Musketeers will not be the faithful literary crowd. While it’s disheartening to see a studio spend money on this sort of an adaptation of Dumas’ novel rather than a dramatic adventure period picture, I’m sure there’s plenty of people ready and willing to see a surface-level version of the classic lacking in story and character but filled to the brim with explosions and flame-throwing cannons.

The Three Musketeers stars Logan Lerman, Milla Jovovich, Matthew Macfadyen, Ray Stevenson, Luke Evans, Mads Mikkelson, Gabriella Wilde, Juno Temple, Orlando Bloom, and Christoph Waltz. The film opens in 3D on October 14th.

  • joe kerr

    hasn’t been a fan of ws anderson since i watched that mortal kombat piece of crap

  • Alex

    This movie looks awful

  • Sandra

    Honestly, I’m so tired of hearing these same trite comments about Paul W.S. Anderson’s direction over and over again. I didn’t hear nearly as much complaints about a literary classic turned into a mindless action feast when Guy Ritchie positively *ravaged* Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes.

    • Black_Vulcan

      I agree with you, Sandra – my Sherlock Holmes is British, and not a pit fight club member. Having said that, this sounds phenomenally more vapid and stultifying and pointless than any previous Musketeer adaptation, or Paul Worrisome Simpleton Anderson’s career.

  • Swedishskinjer

    Believe me, there were complaints. However much I dislike Ritchie, at least he did a decent job with capturing the period correctly, whereas Anderson’s comments here are infinitely more embarrassing. Sherlock had the good sense to not masturbate to seemingly endless slow-mo, which is Anderson’s central shtick.

  • Swedishskinjer

    And there have been positive comments about Sherlock’s script. Robert Downey Jr. is intelligent enough to infuse the character with actual wit. Anderson’s actors don’t appear to possess that talent and it shows in the teaser.

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  • missC

    Bite your tongue, swedishskinjer!! There is more talent in that teaser with just a glance of Christof Waltz and Matthew Macfadyen alone so really none of you know what the h*ll you are talking about. What can you get from a teaser anyway, really?

    Pipe down, people.

  • Reformed_Geek

    As a fan of Holmes in both literary format and on screen, I loved the Ritchie adaptation. That said, Downy Jnr did make the film as Sherlock and I don’t think it would be been as enjoyable had it not been for his portrayal of the character.

    I didn’t have high hopes for this film (The Three Musketeers) simply because while Anderson is a decent enough action director but shouldn’t be anything more than a director for hire rather than a driving creative force behind a project. Wikipedia has Andrew Davies down as one of the writers on this project and he has worked on some pretty decent UK TV adaptations of other great literary works so there might be some hope!