Deadline brings word today that Ruben Fleischer, director of Zombieland and Gangster Squad, has agreed terms to helm Jekyll for Lionsgate, a feature spin on the 2007 BBC One series starring James Nesbitt.
This time around, it’s Captain America himself Chris Evans that’s on board to play the part of Tom Jackman, a modern-day descendant of Dr. Henry Jekyll that begins to display signs of the trademark split personality, much to the dismay of his close friends and family. Forced into a self-imposed exile in the original BBC series, Nesbitt’s mild-mannered protagonist locked himself away in a fortified basement with only a psychiatrist nurse for company, who bore witness to some truly gnarly stuff once Jackman unleashed his unruly alter-ego. How exactly Lionsgate plans to rework that complex narrative into a feature film is up for question, but above all else, it presents a fascinating dual role for Chris Evans, who has so often played the incorruptible good guy in Steve Rogers.
Loosely based on the erratic character first introduced in Robert Louis Stevenson’s 1886 novella, Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Fleischer’s decision to climb aboard the Lionsgate drama presents some competition to Universal, who will soon introduce Russell Crowe’s incarnation of the famous character in The Mummy reboot. There are even mooted reports of a potential spinoff movie, too. What’s more, given how he’s so actively involved in fostering the dormant Zombieland franchise at Sony, will today’s announcement have much of a bearing on the progress of Zombieland 2? Time will tell.
There’s currently no mention of a release window for Fleischer’s Jekyll at the time of writing, so stay tuned for more on that front.