FILM / Production Notes: By Stephen Herek, the director of the latest film version of The Three Musketeers
Tuesday 22 March 1994
'At first it was rather daunting because immediately you're going to be compared to the others. So when I started the project, I stayed away from the other movies and tried to develop my own point of view. Only about halfway through the pre-production process did I look at them to make sure that I wasn't copying them and I was relieved because I felt that, in tone, we were quite different.
'The version I responded to the most was the one with Gene Kelly (1948) - very swashbuckling and the fighting had a lot of excitement, almost like a dance. In Richard Lester's version (1973), a lot of it was very gruelling - realistic perhaps, but I wanted to bring back the dance, the fairy-tale quality. Richard did a wonderful job being anachronistically witty about history, but I had no such intentions. Dumas was writing fiction anyway, so we didn't pay that much attention to historical accuracy.
'What we tried to do with production and costume design, and even with dialogue, was to update, to give it a historical flavour but to be a bit hip. And where all the other versions have followed the book pretty closely, we distanced ourselves from it. Basically, I wanted to have fun - to make it a roller-coaster ride.'
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Peter Lik: The self-proclaimed 'fine-art photographer' whose work sells for millions
Best underrated Christmas movies from Trading Places to While You Were Sleeping
Grace Dent on TV: The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies was a beautifully shot, immensely considered drama
The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies, review: Jason Watkins is brilliant, but real victim Joanna Yeates is reduced to a footnote
Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking Lana Del Rey rape video
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga