Adrian Hodges Quotes
Adrian Hodges (born 4 February 1957) is an English television and film writer. He has won a BAFTA Award
Read more about this author on Wikipedia
The BBC came to me and they wanted to adapt the book [Three Musketeers] again, in the straightforward way, and I said no to that. I didn't want to do that. But what I did want to do was have a real look at the adventure genre because I thought it was ripe for reinvention.
Richelieu was a great statesman, and like all great statesman, he was a very ruthless man. He's not cruel. He just does what he has to do. And in his own mind, he's absolutely right.
The thing about villains is that villains always have their own logic, and they don't necessarily see themselves as villains. Richelieu is not a villain, in his own mind. He's doing what he needs to do.
You can use the fun of the genre, but I also really wanted to come at it from the point of view of some really complex characterization. There was a lot that I wanted it to do, and I wanted it to be fun. It's fun, but it's not simple fun.
In the book, D'Artagnan doesn't actually become an official Musketeer until quite near the end, and we make quite a big thing about that. I won't give too much away, but when he finally does make it, they're not going to make it easy for him. That never changes.
It's not fundamentally different to any other genre, that action is a particular thing. Being able to do action sounds like it should be straightforward, but it really isn't. I always want the action to be witty. I don't want it to be merely routine.
On a simple level, you need directors who are good at action and can choreograph an action scene, but you need them to also have that sense of fun and that sense of movement and that ability to get the actors to really respond to the material in the way that you want them to. It's a very big thing.
One of the problems of this genre is that there are cliches everywhere, and you've got to be careful and watch out. Our rule with cliches is to either gently acknowledge them and make fun of them, or do something else. Milady is, in one sense, a villain because she does bad things.
I think there's an element in Milady where she sees her own innocence in D'Artagnan. In the very beginning, she's using him in a pretty cynical way. When she gets to know him, she sees qualities in him that she recognizes and it's almost like trying to remake the past, but of course, it doesn't work.
You do see a few people and you are thinking of how that chemistry is going to work, but it's not really fair to put people who are auditioning together in a room. You have to make that judgement yourself, and that's partly where the casting director is so good. It was that blend that we were looking for.
The situation that women were in, at the time, was something that Dumas doesn't really go into, but it's a great subject to look at. It's a great genre because you can do a lot. Sometimes in thrillers, you can really explore things, and it's the same in this genre.
They're classic themes, which is why I think it's such a great story to look at again. The concept of being loyal to your friends, to the point where you'd even die for them, is a great subject.
You're always looking to make it a bit fresh. I want to make sure people are constantly surprised and interested, and we're always talking to the directors about that. It's a big challenge to find people that can do it.