EXCLUSIVE: On fire since the success of HBO‘s True Detective this year, director Cary Fukunaga has lined up his next project I’ve learned. Teaming with John Legend and his Get Lifted Film Co. partner Mike Jackson, Fukunaga will adapt and helm a big-screen version of The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, And The Real Count of Monte Cristo for Sony. Get Lifted have optioned the Pulitzer-winning 2012 biography written by Tom Reiss that chronicles the life and adventures of French Revolution-era General Thomas-Alexandre Dumas. Jackson and Ty Stiklorius will produce the pic with Fukunaga’s Parliament of Owls. Legend, his manager Troy Carter and Sony’s Josh Bratman will serve as executive producers. “Cary’s exceptional talent as a writer/director will bring to life all of the action and drama that have made The Black Count such a compelling read,” Michael De Luca, who is overseeing the pic for Sony told me today. “He’s got a great take on the material and we’re thrilled to be working with him, John, Thais, Troy and Mike,” added the Columbia Pictures President of Production.
Born to a French nobleman and a slave woman of African descent, Dumas became the highest-ranking person of color to ever serve in any European army. A favorite of Napoleon for a time, Dumas was also the first non-white to become a brigadier general in the French military. Dumas’ exploits were used as the basis for the novels of his son Alexandre Dumas. Better known today than his father, the younger Dumas wrote The Three Musketeers and The Count Of Monte Cristo.
Fukunaga, Get Lifted and Reiss are all repped by WME, with the director also with Anonymous Content and attorneys Michael Adler and Melissa Rogal. Get Lifted’s legal representative is Nina Shaw. Fukunaga goes into production next month in Ghana with star Idris Elba on Beasts of No Nation, an adaptation of Uzodinma Iweala’s bestselling novel.