Among the best-known works of literature ever written is The Three Musketeers. It has been adapted for film, television, musicals, and computer games in hundreds of other languages. But what do you know about this enduring story? You’ve read it how many times? And how many adaptations have there been over time? Here’s everything you need to know about Alexandre Dumas’ novel—and how it keeps coming back again and again.
Film, television, musicals, and video games have all adapted Alexandre Dumas’ The Three Musketeers.
Dumas’ novel has been adapted for over 150 years, including for film, television, comics, and video games.
The story was first adapted into a play in 1835 by the actor-manager William Macready. It was then produced as a full-length play at the Gaiety Theatre in London from November 1836 to April 1837 with an English cast led by Charles Kean (in his only appearance as D’Artagnan). In 1839 it was performed again at Covent Garden Theatre, where it ran for two years with Edmund Kean playing Athos, Richard Mansfield as Porthos, George Macready as Aramis, and James Quin conducting. 
In 1850, Alexandre Dumas wrote another version of The Three Musketeers, which he called “La Dame de Monsoreau.” This new adaptation featured Adelaide Proctor (later better known as Gertrude Lawrence) in her debut role as Constance Bonacieux. Another notable actress in this production was Edna May Oliver, who became one of America’s most famous singers before dying tragically young.
One of the most enduring tales in contemporary literature.
Dumas’ The Three Musketeers has been adapted for movies, TV shows, and musicals. It’s been adapted over and over again since it was published in 1844. The story is one of the most long-lived in modern literature; it has inspired countless adaptations that have continued to be famous for hundreds of years.
The story has been adapted repeatedly since its publication in 1844.
Since its debut in 1844, the tale has undergone numerous adaptations. One of the most adapted stories, it has been transformed into numerous films, TV shows, musicals, video games, and other media.
The Three Musketeers was first released as a serial in 1844 by Alexandre de Beauharnais (1775-1824), the father-in-law of Dumas. He owned a printing press in Paris that published books by other authors and those written by members of Dumas’ family, like Marguerite-Louise Vignon and Marie Louise Chappuis d’Aubigny, if the authors were willing to pay royalties. As soon as the book gained enough traction, Alexandre de Beauharnais made the decision to publish it as a book instead. But not just any book, either; he paid for this special edition personally since he coveted it so much.
Some adaptations are more faithful to the original than others.
While some adaptations are more faithful to the original than others, there’s no denying that some adaptations—like The Three Musketeers (1934) or The Count of Monte Cristo (1939)—are better than others. Some feel like they were adapted from something else entirely: a play or movie; others come across as something altogether different.
The first adaptation was a play called The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas, which was first performed in 1844 and has been adapted many times since then. In 1939, David O. Selznick produced an American version of this tale as part of his film series “Gone With the Wind.” This film featured Walter Huston as Athos, Herbert Marshall as Aramis, and Robert Young as Porthos; it also introduced us to Vivian Leigh (Scarlett O’Hara).
The earliest adaptations seem familiar to modern audiences.
The earliest adaptations seem familiar to modern audiences. In 1922, the first movie adaptation of Dumas’ work was released in Germany. It starred Rudolph Klein-Rogge as Athos, Richard Tauber as D’Artagnan, and Helmut Dantine as Milady de Winter. The film was based on an earlier play called “Der Mann von Noth” (The Man Without Fear).
France’s TF1 network:
In 1954, France’s TF1 network aired its TV version of The Three Musketeers, which starred Jean-Paul Belmondo as D’Artagnan; Jean Rochefort as Athos, and Michel Constantin as Porthos. The miniseries ran for 60 episodes over five seasons and earned high ratings throughout Europe; it even sparked a resurgence in interest among young people who hadn’t read or seen any of Dumas’ works before!
In 1986—more than 30 years after publication—a text adventure game called “The Three Musketeers” became one of gaming’s most popular titles ever made, even though it never made it out of Japan until 1993! Now you can play this classic adventure game at any time thanks to an online version available.
Christophe Gans’ live-action:
Christophe Gans’ live-action film is the most recent adaption (Brotherhood of the Wolf).
If you’re a fan of Alexandre Dumas’s novel, “The Three Musketeers,” you should be excited to find out that many adaptations are on the way. There have been over 150 plays performed since 1864—and if that doesn’t make your head spin with all those possibilities, let us tell you this: this latest version will be an English-language film adaptation directed by Christophe Gans (Brotherhood of the Wolf).
The cast includes Mads Mikkelsen as Rochefort; Luke Evans as Athos; Matthew Macfadyen as Porthos, Milla Jovovich as Aramis, and Mila Kunis as D’Artagnan’s love interest, Milady de Winter. The movie was released on March 23rd, 2017, in France, but unfortunately, an English-language release date has yet to be announced!
Dumas’ novel has been adapted for film, television, comics, and video games again and again over the decades since it was first published.
Dumas’ novel has been adapted for film, television, comics, and video games again and again over the decades since it was first published. Here are some of how The Three Musketeers has been translated into other forms:
- A silent version of it was made in 1922.
- One of Orson Welles’ most significant contributions as an actor came from his 1936 radio adaptation of the play.
- In 1955 on TV series starring Robert Wagner (who also played Dumas’ musketeer D’Artagnan).
- In 1961 comic strip by Harvey Kurtzman ran until 1983 with art by Will Elder (also known as “Will Eisner”).
We hope you’ve enjoyed this journey through the many adaptations of Alexandre Dumas’s The Three Musketeers! As we’ve seen, each version is different from the others in some ways. Initially, it was written for an audience that enjoyed reading about galloping horses and sword fights, so it doesn’t surprise me that so many adaptations have kept these elements intact.
But there are other things—the lack of dialogue, for example—that make some adaptations seem more modern or 21st century than others. Even though they initially appear identical (mainly since they both feature characters like Athos and Porthos), these fresh adaptations give Dumas’ timeless story their original twists and turns.