Film to trace early history of 'Three' characters

Millennium Films is going back to the 1600s to take a stab at Alexandre Dumas’ enduring tale of “The Three Musketeers.”

New pic will trace how swordsmen Athos, Porthos and Aramis first banded together.

D’Artagnan, the last member of the eventual quartet, will either be introduced later in the first movie or in a second installment. Dumas novel is in the public domain.

Millennium’s Joe Gatta and Boaz Davidson will produce, and partners Avi Lerner, Danny Dimbort and Trevor Short will be exec producers.

Pic fits in with Millennium’s continuing effort to develop films with branded properties, which have proved to be reliable draws.

Millennium is reviving the Robert E. Howard-created Conan the Barbarian and Red Sonja characters, as well as Hercules and Buck Rogers. And after its “Rambo” revival grossed $100 million worldwide earlier this year, Millennium is working on another installment.

For independents that can’t pay huge star salaries, like Millennium, brand building is seen as a cost-effective way to build movie slates.

“There aren’t many branded properties like this out there, and it is a seller’s market for the high-profile ones,” said Gatta, who hatched the idea for the film. “You can either build one from scratch or find the ones that are available and of interest to audiences, which we did with Conan and Buck Rogers.”

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