New Photos and Featurette for The Three Musketeers Plus Director Paul W.S. Anderson Discusses Airships and Fighting in Corsets
09.09.11 by Ryan
It's hard to believe that Resident Evil and Death Race director Paul W.S. Anderson has "always wanted" to make an adaptation of The Three Musketeers, but that's precisely what he reveals in a new behind-the-scenes featurette for the upcoming movie.
Anderson won't be adding zombies or car chases to 17th-century France, but he has made his mark on the material. When the first trailer for The Three Musketeers revealed Anderson's 3-D action-oriented take, the writer-director maintained that his version was still "exactly the story of The Three Musketeers" just told "in a slightly different way." When the second trailer revealed giant sailing vessels attached to hot-air balloons, however, it proved that Anderson was indeed taking liberties. In an interview with MTV, he explained where the inspiration came for the airships.
One of the things I found a little repetitive in the book is when the Musketeers returned from London with the diamonds, because they had to fight their way out of France to get the diamonds back and then they had to ride back, it kind of felt like a part of the book that had very little incidents because they're covering the same grounds, only less happens. I always thought that was something maybe we could add some action to, and that's where the idea for the airships came from. It's based upon the theory ... [Leonardo] Da Vinci drew these fantastic designs of war machines. Some of these got built, a lot of which didn't, his flying machine, his tank. In addition to being a great artist, he was a great military thinker and designer of military hardware. We have this idea that in the movie one of his great inventions is kind of brought to life, that's where the airships come from. They're probably in reality, a hundred years too early, but Da Vinci was so far ahead of his time we're using that to justify the intro of the airships. What that allowed me to do as a filmmaker was have some fresh, spectacular action at the tail end of the movie.
There's no discussion of the airships in the new featurette which instead focuses on the sword fighting and action of the movies as described by the stars Logan Lerman, Matthew Macfayden, Ray Stevenson, Luke Evans, Orlando Bloom, Christoph Waltz, Mads Mikkelsen and, of course, Milla Jovovich.
Already the focus of a recent TV spot, Jovovich's swordplay as Milady de Winter is depicted in two recent stills that were released for the movie to MTV. Anderson says that Jovovich (who is also his wife) "insisted" on wearing the period costumes during her fighting scenes.
Milla does quite a lot of action, but in real 17th-century dress, in the corsets and skirts flying. It's pretty exciting and unique. I've never seen anything done like that before. She had to train wearing the corset while she was doing the stunt training for the film, because it altered your body weight completely. Also, the corsets are designed to look attractive rather than allow you to do action scenes. They're quite restrictive on your breathing, so some things she had to train very, very hard for, but she was insistent that she wanted to do a big action scene wearing the period costume. She was already a good martial artist, but she became an excellent swordswoman. She trained very hard to do the sword fighting.
Adapted by Anderson and Andrew Davies (Bridget Jones's Diary) from Alexandre Dumas's classic novel, The Three Musketeers opens October 21st.