The Remaking Project – Ahmad Woods

(very sorry about this being late)

The play I would like to rewrite for the Remaking project is the Count of Monte Cristo. While not originally a play but a novel it’s been adapted into several different forms of media including stage plays, motion pictures and even Japanese animation (anime). The original story is a historical piece set in France during Napoleon Bonaparte’s exile and return to power; it focuses on Edmond Dantès, a young successful merchant, who is wrongfully sentenced without a trial, exiled, and thus denied the right to marry his fiancé. He then escapes from his exile, acquires a fortune and sets about getting revenge on those responsible for his imprisonment by disguising himself as the Count of Monte Cristo. He initially gains the trust of the people of Paris by wooing them with his vast wealth, knowledge, rhetorical power and being a dandy fellow. However, his plans have devastating consequences for the innocent as well as the guilty. The Count of Monte Cristo is a story of revenge, redemption, forgiveness and ultimately mercy.
The main reason I want to re-imagine this story us because I find the character of the Count extremely interesting. His internal struggle is a very compelling draw for me; he is a man that have had everything he loved and earned stripped away from him gains it all back and proceeds to put to justice the men who betrayed him. The thing I like the most about the count is his dandy demeanor and his philosophy and principle of life “all human wisdom is contained in these two words, ‘Wait and Hope”. Those two words eloquently sum up the count’s journey. Another reason why I wanted to re-imagine this story is because I recently watched the Japanese anime adaptation which essentially took the story but gave it a science fiction aesthetic. It was a visual master piece but the main story is still intact despite modern technology being accessible to the characters. I wanted to take that a bit further and have modern to technology as an essential piece of the story.
My re-imagining of the Count of Monte Cristo will be a cyber punk version. What’s Cyber punk? It’s a narrative that centers on the conflict between, hackers, artificial intelligence, and big corporations. Hackers are usually the main characters and the plots are set in the future. How would the Count of Monte Cristo fit in with a cyber punk narrative? It’s lends itself pretty I think since even today our identities, who we are and what we have is stored somewhere on a hard drive. In the original story the count has his identity and everything he owned stripped away from him. So I envisioned a scenario where a young man named Dante has his identity stolen from him and his wealth and is forced to live as an outcast of society because he is technically no one. He then becomes a hacker and vows revenge against the parties the stripped everything away from him. He is armed with the powerful monte cristo virus which allows him to open any “door”. He assumes an online persona and alias known as “the count” and uses his knowledge and power of the monte cristo to get the underground hacking world to his side and believe in his cause. Interactions through social media will be a big part of the story as you get to see how the counts command over rhetoric will be retained here. As a result this retelling can’t work as a stage play but as a book, movie, or animation.

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