Universal Pictures isn’t done with the retelling of the classic novella “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” as not only are they developing a version from the mind of Guillermo del Toro, but have just tapped Keanu Reeves (Matrix, Constantine) to topline Jekyll, a modern retelling to be directed by Nicolas Winding Refn – the man behind the Sundance Film selection Bronson that was recently acquired by Magnolia Pictures. You can read about this massive tale of madness beyond the break.
Universal is developing a modern retelling of the classic novella “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,” with Keanu Reeves attached to star and Justin Haythe, writer of “Revolutionary Road,” penning the script, writes the Hollywood Reporter.
Nicolas Winding Refn is in negotiations to direct the project, titled “Jekyll.” It is being produced by Erwin Stoff and Red Wagon Entertainment’s Douglas Wick and Lucy Fisher.
Robert Louis Stevenson’s tale about a doctor who scientifically develops an evil self has become so pervasive in popular culture that the phrase “Jekyll and Hyde” conjures the idea of a split personality. The story has been translated to the screen and stage dozens of times, with several deviations including comedy, kids (“Jekyll and Heidi”) and gender (1995’s “Dr. Jekyll and Ms. Hyde”). The story has seen modern iterations as recently as 2007, when the BBC aired a miniseries with the story set in the present as Hyde ran amok in London.
Plot details for this “Jekyll” are being kept locked in the laboratory.
Universal clearly is enamored with the tale as it also has been developing a take on it with Guillermo del Toro, though the two couldn’t be more different.
Del Toro, who has an affinity for gothic horror as well as creature features, aims to stick more closely to the Stevenson tale. Also, del Toro’s project is on the slow track as the filmmaker works on “The Hobbit” for New Line and MGM, which is expected to take up the next five years. Even when he comes back, he likely will tackle one or two other Universal projects before his version, so a good amount of time will exist between the projects.