As far as I know, there is no completely faithful film adaptation of Victor Hugo's The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Therefore it's not surprising to learn, via Variety, of yet another big screen version in the works that will play loose with the plot. However, even without knowing many details of this new project, which is being set up at Paramount under producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura (Transformers), I'm having difficulty with the thing being called an "action/comedy."

Sure, there have been a lot of liberties taken with the classic novel, and Disney's animated version has those comic-relief gargoyles, but this is already sounding like it could be the most detached so far. And it's a good bet the humor will be tasteless enough that the cartoon Esmeralda's stripper-pole dance will seem perfectly appropriate by comparison.

To be fair, it appears the untitled pitch, from unknown screenwriters Will Block and Jake Emanuel, will not be considered an adaptation of the Hugo anymore than She's the Man gives credit to Shakespeare. Either way, though, this is obviously another part of the trend to turn period-set literary works into action-adventure films, a la Sherlock Holmes and the upcoming reworkings of The Three Musketeers and Treasure Island.

The trend started with the non-book-based Pirates of the Caribbean movies, and Risky Biz Blog notes that the top secret idea is in the vein of that franchise. Because of the comedy angle I'm fearing something closer to the despicable Gulliver's Travels movie coming out this December. Fitting, too, since Jack Black is the first actor I think of to play a modernized version of Quasimodo.