Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Ruben Fleischer set to direct Chris Evans in Jekyll

Universal Pictures might be all about rounding up their various monsters for a shared cinematic universe, but Robert Louis Stephenson's The Strange Case Of Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde is in the public domain, and anyone can adapt it. Lionsgate already has Chris Evans (Captain America: Civil War) attached to star in its own version of the split identity tale, and now news arrives via Deadline that Ruben Fleischer (Gangster Squad) may end up in the director's chair.

This take is based on Steven Moffat's 2007 BBC series, which didn't go for the basic Jekyll and Hyde story, but rather took the form of a sequel. Anthony Bagarozzi (The Nice Guys) and Charles Mondry are at work on a script that would focus on Tom Jackman, a modern day descendent of Jekyll who has inherited his condition through genetics. So he sets up a secure basement in which he can be stepped into a chair and monitored by a nurse as he changes. The Mr. Hyde in this case has enhanced strength and a raging personality that can also be a charming devil. Neither man remembers what the other one does while inhabiting Jackman's body, and they communicate using recordings. Of course, Hyde manages to get out one night and goes in search of Jackman's family...

Evans' name was touted back in July, and while he is still involved, he has a busy schedule coming up. And Fleischer is also developing the Zombieland (2009) sequel, which according to Deadline is still tied up with negotiating deals for a cast (including Emma Stone and Jesse Eisenberg) that is considerably pricier since the 2009 original came out. But he will work with Bagarozzi and Mondry on the script and we will wait to see which movie gets moving first. Universal Pictures, meanwhile, have Russell Crowe (Man Of Steel) kicking off a stint as the character(s) in The Mummy, due here on 9 June before a planned standalone.

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