Based on the original six-episode BBC One miniseries of the same name that saw its premiere in 2007 from TV showrunner Steven Moffat (Doctor Who), Jekyll is all set to become a full-length movie starring Chris Evans (Captain America: Civil War) as Tom Jackman – a direct descendant of the infamous Dr. Jekyll, who is afflicted with the same personality disorder. Lionsgate will be producing the new movie alongside Ellen Degeneres and Jeff Kleeman of A Very Good Production, based on a script co-written by Anthony Bagarozzi and Charles Mondry (the co-writers on Shane Black’s upcoming Doc Savage).
With the rebooted Universal Monster Movie Universe moving forward, however, the production of another competing movie to feature the famous Jekyll figure will present some trouble – when it comes to marketing the film against the likes of 2017’s The Mummy reboot, featuring Russell Crowe’s own take on the Jekyll character. Nevertheless, Lionsgate is moving forward with the project with a director officially attached.
According to Deadline, Ruben Fleischer of Zombieland fame has just signed on to direct Jekyll, with Evans still set to play the lead. However, with his attention divided between the new project at Lionsgate and Zombieland 2 in the works at Sony, Fleischer may have bitten off a little more than he can chew – especially if Jekyll hopes to draw a significant amount of attention against the competing Universal Monster Movie Universe.
There is certainly plenty of room for further interpretations and expansions of the original character created by Scottish writer Robert Louis Stevenson in the late 19th century, and as such Jekyll could manage to draw a crowd – especially considering the fact that Doctor Who bigwig Steven Moffat created the concept behind the new movie to begin with. Still, with Universal also vying to reinvent the Jekyll character for a new generation of moviegoers with its monster-verse version, this could have an effect on Fleischer’s own Jekyll-related project.
Whether general moviegoers will ultimately opt for what appears to be another action-heavy cinematic universe version in Crowe and Universal’s interpretation of Stevenson’s classic work of fiction, or Fleischer and Lionsgate’s more philosophically grounded take on the character – that remains to be seen. That being said, here’s to hoping that things work out with Jekyll – and that it doesn’t fall by the wayside before entering production.
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