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Category: The Three Musketeers

Dueling 'Three Musketeers' projects sharpen their blades

February 24, 2010 |  6:27 pm

The Devil Wears Tunics? Mr. and Mrs. Milady ?

A pair of "Three Musketeers" projects are picking up momentum in Hollywood -- and attracting some rather unlikely elements.

MuskWith "Sherlock Holmes" fast turning into one of the most important properties in its stable, Warner Bros. is forging ahead on its adaptation of another pop-minded work of classic literature, "The Three Musketeers."

After confirming earlier this month that it was developing a new version with "Holmes" producer Lionel Wigram, the studio is making headway in hiring a director. It has compiled a wish list of those who it wants to get behind the camera to tell the swashbuckling story. But the names aren't necessarily the ones you'd expect. 

One filmmaker whom producers and studio executives are talking to: David Frankel, the director of "Marley & Me" and "The Devil Wears Prada." While the latter tells the story of a ruler colder and more villainous than Cardinal Richelieu, that pedigree may not be the kind one associates with high-stakes swordplay in period France.

But Frankel does have some genre experience -- and at Warners no less -- which last summer signed him to develop and potentially direct the adaptation of the children's series "Septimus Heap: Magyk." Not coincidentally, the series has been compared to Harry Potter, on which Wigram is also a driving force.

The second director in a top position to get the gig is Doug Liman, best known for "Mr. & Mrs. Smith" as well as the first movie in the Jason Bourne franchise. Liman's action pedigree gives him more credentials for "Musketeers" (though how he handled his last action film, "Jumper," may hurt those credentials).

Meanwhile, an independently-financed 3D project, based on the classic trilogy, from "Resident Evil" filmmaker Paul W.S. Anderson has over the last week stirred the talk that producers had wanted Taylor Lautner for a lead role, likely of D'Artagnan. But those with knowledge of the young actor's career said he would not star in the project.

Both scripts are being developed with an urgency -- "The Men Who Stare at Goats" writer Peter Straughan is a co-writer on the Warners one, while Anderson is co-writing the script with “The Tailor of Panama” screenwriter Andrew Davies.

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