Pascal Breton’s Federation Entertainment is set to develop “Monte-Cristo,” an ambitious series adapted from Alexandre Dumas’ literary classic, to be directed by Jérôme Salle (“Zulu,” “Anthony Zimmer”).
“Monte-Cristo,” written by Dan Franck (“Les Hommes de l’Ombre,” “Carlos”), will be a modern reimagining of Dumas’ 1844 classic “The Count of Monte Cristo” and will be set in the 21st century to tackle contemporary issues.
The series will follow Edmond Dantès, a promising young man who is falsely arrested and imprisoned without trial in a South American prison after witnessing a crime. He finally gets out of jail and returns to Paris with a vast fortune inherited from a former inmate, ready to avenge himself from the so-called friends in high places who framed him and led to his imprisonment.
“Adapting Monte-Cristo today…means portraying a legendary hero who is knocking down one by one the powerful figures who (betrayed him),” said Franck, whose screenwriting credits include Olivier Assayas’ “Carlos.”
In the spirit of Dumas’ classic novel, the modern adaptation will also “hit at the core of the worlds of finance, politics and privileges,” said Franck.
“Monte Cristo gives a voice to everyone: the repentent, the condemned, the representative of the people, the judges, prosecutors, journalists and lawyers…Like Alexandre Dumas wanted it, ‘Monte-Cristo,’ a mythical book, is a scream against injustice, once a a literary saga and today a socially-minded series,” added Franck.
Salle, who’s best known for directing “Zulu,” as well as “Anthony Zimmer” and “Largo Winch,” described “Monte-Cristo” as a universal tale with richly layered characters and relationships, and a powerful romantic appeal.
“I’m convinced that two centuries after its publication, ‘Monte-Cristo’ can address the world in which we live,” said Salle.
Breton (pictured), founder of Federation Entertainment, said “‘Monte-Cristo’ is one of the most read novels throughout the world, one which has often been spoiled for better and for worse by many series.”
Breton said the new adaptation will be “faithful to the spirit of Dumas to create a big contemporary French hero who embodies the fight and [takes vengeance] over all injustices.”
Elsewhere in France, Dimitri Rassam (“The Little Prince”) at Chapter 2, a Mediawan, is also developing an adaptation of “The Count of Monte Cristo” with Matthieu Delaporte and Alexandre de la Patellière on top to write and direct.