Bear Grylls, famous for his work eating bugs on Man vs. Wild, is getting into the feature film business. Grylls will produce a new The Count of Monte Cristo movie, based on the classic novel by Alexandre Dumas. But this adaptation has a twist: it’s set in modern-day Afghanistan. Count of Monte Cristo has been adapted to the screen several times before, and recently, David Goyer was attached to write a version that was being touted as a “19th century Dark Knight,” but that project never came together.
Per Deadline, Bear Grylls’ Banijay JV The Natural Studios is teaming up with producers Ben Grass and Christophe Charlier for the new Count of Monte Cristo movie, “which will focus on the friendship and bitter rivalry that develops between two special forces soldiers who are sent to war in Afghanistan.” Published as a serialized novel between 1844 and 1846, the story focused on Edmond Dantes, a man imprisoned for a crime he didn’t commit. In prison, Dantes “learns of a great hoard of treasure hidden on the Isle of Monte Cristo and he becomes determined not only to escape, but also to unearth the treasure and use it to plot the destruction of the three men responsible for his incarceration.”
In a statement, Grylls said: “We loved the idea of updating this universally-loved story of friendships, betrayal and revenge, and were completely taken by Tom Williams’ original and innovative take. This is action-adventure storytelling at its finest and celebrates above all, resilience and redemption.” Fellow producers Ben Grass and Christophe Charlier added: “It’s an honor to collaborate…on this fresh reworking of the Alexandre Dumas classic. We aim to create a captivating action film with great scale and sweep that is certain to thrill global audiences.”
Count of Monte Cristo movies have been finding their way to the screen since 1908. The most recent example is the 2002 film directed by Kevin Reynolds and starring Jim Caviezel and Guy Pearce. I saw that movie in theaters, but I can’t recall a single damn thing about it, other than the fact that it had the following amazing tagline: “Prepare for adventure. Count on revenge.” See, it says Count on revenge, because it has Count in the title. That’s brilliant marketing, folks.
Grylls and company hope to start casting the film soon, with plans to shoot in 2021.
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