France revives The Three Musketeers on the big screen

PARIS.- Determined not to lose the fight at the box office, France premieres next Wednesday a new film version of The Three Musketeersa luxury blockbuster that faithfully follows the famous novel by Alexandre Dumas, divided into two parts.

With a budget of 72 million euros (about 78 million dollars), it is the most expensive production in French cinema since the pandemic.

“France has the right to make great, popular and spectacular adventure films,” claims the film’s director, Martin Bourboulin.

François Civil plays a young d’Artagnan in this first episode, seconded by Vincent Cassel (Athos), Pio Marmai (Porthos) and Romain Duris (Aramis).

Eva Green plays the perfidious Milady, and the Luxembourg actress Vicky Krieps plays Queen Anne of Austria, married to the clueless Louis XIII (Louis Garrel).

The specially choreographed swashbuckling combat contributes to the spectacularity, as do the filming locations, starting with the castle where the real King Louis XIII was born, in Fontainebleau.

The film, which will be released on April 14 in Spain, begins with the arrival of the young D’Artagnan to the body of the King’s Musketeers.

In addition to distributing thrusts, the impetuous swordsman has time to fall in love with Constance Bonacieux, faithful servant of the queen, in turn immersed in a problematic love affair with the Duke of Buckingham…

maximum realism

The special effects are minimal, and the same goes for the studio shooting.

“We have sought maximum realism, both with the action scenes and the costumes,” explains the director.

The pressure on Bourboulin is high. In 2021 he directed Eiffelanother spectacular film (and with numerous special effects) that nevertheless failed to take off at the box office, with only 1.5 million tickets sold.

“People don’t go to the movies to get bored,” Jérôme Seydoux, boss of the production company, Pathé, claimed last October.

What does not prevent his last great production, Asterix and Obelix: The Middle Kingdom (65 million euros budget), was another failure, with 4.5 million tickets.

Philon for the cinema

The Three Musketeers It has been a bonanza for the big screen. The novel has been adapted some 250 times, according to the count of Stéphanie Salmon, curator of a current exhibition in Paris on Alexandre Dumas and cinema.

The first version was British, Three Musketeersshot at the dawn of cinema, in 1898, followed by another Italian one, from 1909, both very theatrical.

Hollywood shot two classic versions: one from 1921, with Douglas Fairbanks, and another from 1948, with Gene Kelly and Lana Turner.

In the Spanish-speaking world, the novel has also had a successful run, often with a humorous tone.

Cantinflas shoots his version in 1942, Tin Tan in 1957 films The three and a half musketeersand in Spain Mariano Ozores dares by the hand of the humorist duo Martes y Trece (1983).

As a curiosity, the cartoon version D’Artacan and the Three Musketeersa television hit in Spain in the 1980s, and the two musketeers which they performed, also successfully, Tom and Jerry in 1951 (Oscar included).

“Dumas is like a continent. A dozen titles have been regularly adapted from all his work,” explains Stéphanie Salmon.

A work, otherwise, free of rights, which facilitates adaptation to the big screen.

The next French assault on Dumas will be The Count of Monte Cristoscheduled for 2024, with the heartthrob Pierre Niney.




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