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Casting Call: The Count of Monte Cristo

At the beginning of the story, Edmond Dantès is a carefree and wealthy young merchant with a smoking hot fiancée. Dantès seems set for a life of success and happiness, until his best friend Ferdinand decides that he'd like to have that smoking hot fiancée for himself. Colluding with some socio-political rivals of Dantès, Ferdinand frames Dantès for Bonapartist treason, snags the lady, and Dantès is sent into solitary confinement in a rocky island prison for six years. He almost goes crazy, but decides to escape and become a badass fake count instead.

Jim Caviezel was an excellent Edmond Dantès and Count of Monte Cristo, especially as Reynolds' keen, reticent, and very old school version of the character. Whoever plays comic book-Dantès will probably need to pull of plagued-with-inner demonds moping, as well as a serious prisoner beard. Christian Bale an inner demon master, and it's hard to picture anyone that could look or act more like Dantès. Bale has done his share of period and action films—it's time for him to combine the two.

Photo by Ellen von Unwerth,
Interview, February 2001.

Edmond Dantès' former best friend is one of the biggest fictional cads, ever. Though Fernand Mondego is a straightforward part—selfish and cowardly—whoever is chosen to play him will have to match Guy Pearce's performance.

Jude Law also has the sly smile and aristocratic bone structure to pull off Mondego. We'd like to see him switch on an oozingly smug voice to get under the skin of Bale's Dantès.

Photo by Sam Taylor-Wood, Interview, February 2001.

If the Goyer wants to squeeze more fight scenes out of the plot, and we imagine he will, he'll probably make Fernand Mondego's (sort-of) son Albert a more central character. Mothered by Dantès' once-lover, the young Albert Mondego is reckless but good-hearted.

Maybe it's because Logan Lerman and Christian Bale had fantastic chemistry as father and son in 3:10 to Yuma, but we see something of Albert Mondego in the up-and-coming young actor. Lerman took a starring turn in another refurbished Dumas classic, The Three Musketeers, which flopped. We'd like to see him recover with the author's more wrenching story.


The daughter of an opponent of Fernand Mondego's, Haydée is Dantès' love interest. In Dumas' original novel, Haydée is sold into slavery by Mondego. She falls into the possession of the Count and helps him get his revenge.

In Reynolds' adaptation, however, Dantès' once-fiancée, Mercédes, replaces Haydée. The two woman are very different characters of different social classes. Whether Goyer stays true to the original text or includes his own Mercedés, we think that the graphic novel-inspired film may need a more sultry love interest. Olga Kurylenko could handle either part, with a smooth voice and a face that looks beautiful dirty or polished.


Once played by Richard Harris, Abbé Faria is the clever, old man imprisoned next door to Dantès in the island fortress. Faria mentors Dantès and the two form a close friendship over the years. Faria points Dantès to a hidden treasure, which enables him to ruin those that plotted against him. Faria is also known as "The Mad Priest," so he needs to be a little off. He, too, will also require a hefty beard. We see Christopher Lee doing the role justice.


A smuggler named Jacopo becomes Dantès' loyal right hand man and friend after he emerges from imprisonment, when Jacopo saves Dantès from drowning. In Goyer's version, Jacopo's loyalty might be paired, as it has in the past, with a little occasional comic relief. Jacopo needs to be portrayed by someone who can do drama, yet deliver good-humored wit. Someone like Sam Rockwell.