By Oliver Lyttelton | www.oliverlyttelton.com July 1, 2011 at 3:30AM
Ever since 1956's "Forbidden Planet" appropriated the plot of William Shakespeare's "The Tempest" for a space-set tale of killer robots, the easy solution to any over-done classic tale has been to move it into the future. "High Noon" in space? That's "Outland"! "Treasure Island" in space? "Treasure Planet"! And with the likes of a post-apocalyptic Zorro film and "Robin Hood 2084" on the way, it's still as popular as ever, with two more possible sci-fi re-envisionings on the way.
Variety report that Warner Bros have just acquired "The Count Of Monte Cristo" from writer Ian Shorr ("Splinter"), which takes Alexandre Dumas' classic tale of a young man wrongly sent to prison, who reinvents himself as the titular noble to seek his revenge, and moves it into the future, for what we're sure is a very good reason, and not just because he thought it would be more marketable. Kevin McCormick, who's working with the studio on the upcoming "Gangster Squad," is producing.
The site also brings news, on a smaller scale, that Peter Cornwell, director of "The Haunting in Connecticut," has been hired by Radar Pictures, who backed "The Box" and "The Invention of Lying," among others, to helm a new version of Joseph Conrad's "Heart of Darkness," which, yes, has been translated to the future, and set in space. The new script is called "Into Darkness" and comes from "Death Race 2" writer Tony Giglio and actor Branden Morgan. We're sure it'll be just as good, if not better, than the last film to transplant Conrad's novel to a different time, a little-known Vietnam War film by Francis Ford Coppola called "Apocalypse Now." No, us neither. "Into Darkness" sounds like it's further along at this point, as it has talent attached, but Warners are likely to seek a director shortly, we're sure.