EXCLUSIVE: Spike TV has put in development a project described as re-inventing the Alexandre Dumas revenge classic The Count Of Monte Cristo with a contemporary and high-octane action and political twist. It hails from Joshua D. Maurer’s City Entertainment (Rubicon). The project, based on an idea by Maurer, is still in early stages, and it is unclear whether it would be developed as a miniseries or limited series. Spike TV is making a return to scripted programming via longform, with the upcoming event series Tut as the first project under the initiative. Maurer is producing the Monte Cristo drama with producing partner Alixandre Witlin. The Count Of Monte Cristo has been a popular target for modern-day interpretations. ABC drama Revenge started off as a female take on the novel set in the Hamptons.
The Spike sale joins several other TV projects Maurer and Witlin have set up around town, including a miniseries adaption of E.M. Forster’s Howards End to the BBC with Kenny Lonnergan adapting; a miniseries for FX based on Ron Hansen’s bloody Western Desperadoes, about the infamous Dalton Gang, with Robert Knott writing; and an adaption of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Last Tycoon for HBO with Billy Ray to write and direct and Sony TV producing. On the feature side, the duo, repped by attorney J. Franklin Stewart, are producing Exile On Main Street with Virgin Films.