Among the previews screened during the Sorrento festival days dedicated to the industry was an enticing snippet of Paul W.S. Anderson‘s Three Musketeers, a colossal German production due for global release in the coming year (handled in Italy by 01 Distribution).

Funding the new project is Constantin Film, a European production company specialising in products for the international market (Wrong Turn 2 and 3, Pope Joan), and soon to provide the financial backing for Roman Polanski’s forthcoming film.

At first glance Anderson‘s latest outing is exactly what we’ve come to expect from the director of Death Race and Resident Evil: hardly what you’d call a measured or philologically correct film, but a blockbuster in Hollywood style that spares no punches.

The scenes in the trailer are crammed with aerial combat and duel sequences spliced with bits of romance. What came as a surprise, however, were the elements of steampunk, whereby improbable modern devices are anachronistically slotted into the Victorian era, such as the scene in which Orlando Bloom (the Duke of Buckingham, on the set in a photo published by first appears aboard a ship borne aloft by a gigantic air-balloon.

The rest of the cast includes Milla Jojovich as the treacherous Lady De Winter, alongside a haughty Cardinal Richelieu played by Christopher Waltz in his first outing since his Oscar for Inglourious Basterds, and soon to star in The Green Hornet.

In the role of D’Artagnan is Logan Lerman, recently acclaimed for his performance as the quasi-mythological Percy Jackson.

And what about the 3D? In this case the stereoscopic magic works wonders with the architecture of Versailles, whose enormous halls acquire even greater depth on the big screen. Short shrift is given instead to the other optical tricks, such as swords and cannonballs fired directly into the audience.