Abel Ferrara, possibly still stinging from Werner Herzog putting him down after taking on Bad Lieutenant, has decided to launch his own version of Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. Ferrara’s version will be called Jekyll and Hyde.
His reading will also feature Forest Whitaker and Curtis ’50 Cent’ Jackson at the lead characters.
I can’t quite imagine why he would want to do this but, given his interesting if not wholly-successful take on the Invasion of the Body Snatchers story in the past, he could at least bring something different to the table.
Separate to this, two other Jekyll and Hyde projects are in the works.
There is the terrible-sounding version with Keanu Reeves playing both lead roles, although possibly with Bronson’s Nicolas Winding Refn directing. That one would presently fall into the interesting category alongside the potential Ferrara version.
Alongside those is the most promising but, unfortunately, most unlikely to come in the short-term, from Guillermo del Toro. That one is only in the embryonic stages so little is known other than the character design will be amazing.
Keanu Reeves has reportedly signed on to star in a modern retelling of The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, the novella by Robert Louis Stevenson and subject of numerous adaptations and interpretations down the years.
Justin Haythe, the writer of Revolutionary Road, has been tapped to write a screenplay with Nicholas Winding Refn, the man behind the Pusher trilogy and the outstanding Bronson, in negotiations to direct.
I would really like to tell you that this made me even remotely excited but, to be honest, two thirds of this news sounds awful.
Reeves having to play a character with different facets to his personality seems like one of the worst casting decisions ever made. I love Keanu. In the right role, one in which he plays characters who have absolutely no idea what’s going on, he can completely work. When he pushes it beyond that, things can get real ugly.
In addition to that, Justin Haythe’s screenplay for Revolutionary Road was terrible, sucking all the pathos and toughness of Richard Yates’ writing in favour of annoyingingly expository moments filled with boneheaded subtext.
Refn’s potential involvement is great because he is a genuine talent with an auteurist touch who could provide a really interesting interpretation of this source material visually.
But the news, also noted in by Rope of Silicon, that Guillermo del Toro is also working on a closer adaptation of the story begs a question of why this motley crue is being assembled to take on the project too.