If you, like most of the television-watching world (or, at the very least, most of the HBO-watching world), fell in love with True Detective earlier this year, you’re probably anxious to see what director Cary Fukunaga will work on next. (Though, it must be noted that Fukunaga has a satisfying stable of work, from his take on Jane Eyre to his stunning Sin Nombre, that you can check out right now.)
Deadline reports that the filmmaker has locked down his next production, and it’s a big one. Fukunaga will next write and direct a big screen version of Tom Reiss’ Pulitzer Prize-winning biography of General Thomas-Alexandre Dumas, “The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo.” Wait. Dumas? The real Count of Monte Cristo? Indeed, Reiss’ book chronicles the unbelievable real life adventures of author Alexandre Dumas’ father, a French Revolution-era military man who is said to have inspired many of his son’s greatest works.
Reiss’ massive book is all about the elder Dumas, who quite notably “became the highest-ranking person of color to ever serve in any European army.” Dumas was also the first non-white person to become a brigadier general in the French military. His stories helped shape his son’s stories, and apparently fans of his “The Count of Monte Cristo” and “The Three Musketeers” will detect some big similarities in Reiss’ book.
ComingSoon shares the book’s official synopsis:
Here is the remarkable true story of the real Count of Monte Cristo – a stunning feat of historical sleuthing that brings to life the forgotten hero who inspired such classics as The Count of Monte Cristo and The Three Musketeers.
The real-life protagonist of The Black Count, General Alex Dumas, is a man almost unknown today yet with a story that is strikingly familiar, because his son, the novelist Alexandre Dumas, used it to create some of the best loved heroes of literature.
Yet, hidden behind these swashbuckling adventures was an even more incredible secret: the real hero was the son of a black slave — who rose higher in the white world than any man of his race would before our own time.
Born in Saint-Domingue (now Haiti), Alex Dumas was briefly sold into bondage but made his way to Paris where he was schooled as a sword-fighting member of the French aristocracy. Enlisting as a private, he rose to command armies at the height of the Revolution, in an audacious campaign across Europe and the Middle East – until he met an implacable enemy he could not defeat.
The Black Count is simultaneously a riveting adventure story, a lushly textured evocation of 18th-century France, and a window into the modern world’s first multi-racial society. But it is also a heartbreaking story of the enduring bonds of love between a father and son.
But what is the implacable enemy? (This is both a history quiz and a bit of an open-ended query.)
Fukunaga is in big demand these days — he’s also attached to the drama Beasts of No Nation, a remake of It, a thriller about a French spy, and an untitled project that has been kept under wraps but is rumored to be set in “contemporary wartime” — so there’s no word on when he’ll take on The Black Count.
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