Thursday, October 20, 2011

Recent News: ABC buys two Jekyll and Hyde Modern Adaptation Projects

Apparently, ABC has bought two different Jekyll and Hyde themed projects within the past few months. One of them, called "Hyde", is a modern day take on the story of Jekyll and Hyde (reminiscent of the BBC's TV drama "Jekyll" from 2007). Apparently it's written by Sheldon Turner, and the plot:
"...centers on a mild-mannered, 'conflict-averse' ER doctor taking an experimental drug for a degenerative eye condition.  The side effects of the drug include a more assertive version of himself who takes control while he sleeps.  The show is being described as a buddy show where both buddies happen to be the same person."
A different article gives a few more details in its synopsis:
"...[the show] centers on Grant Hyde, a thirtysomething ER doctor with a degenerative eye condition who is conflict-averse and hesitant to be captain of his own destiny. After attempting an experimental treatment to improve his eyesight, he begins to experience a strange side effect — when he goes to sleep, his id manifests itself as Hyde, a fearless, gregarious personality who takes control where Grant cannot."
The second project bought by ABC is simply called "Jekyll and Hyde", written by Matt Lopez, who also helped to write the film The Sorcerer's Apprentice (which does not give me great confidence in the quality of this project - to me, that movie was horribly bland and uninspired). The plot of this project has been described as:
"...a suspenseful, darkly romantic retelling of the classic tale with a unique sci-fi twist that I hear may be cloning-related. Set in modern San Francisco, it centers on a female criminal psychologist who is drawn into the mysterious world of a brilliant but inhibited scientist and his volatile alter ego."
I'll be interested in seeing whether these projects actually get pulled through, but I'm not letting my hopes get up too much after the disappointing incident from a while ago, when several new Jekyll and Hyde film adaptations were announced to be in the works, one of which would have starred the odd combination of Morgan Freeman and Fifty Cent, and the other would have starred Keanu Reeves. Despite the questionable casting choices I allowed myself to get genuinely excited about these projects, only for both to be dropped for various reasons after only a little time had passed.

In this case, I'm not going to anticipate being able to watch either of these shows anytime soon, if at all, but I am hoping that, being TV dramas, they might have more of a chance of survival. Even if they turn out to be bad, at least they'll be something. No major Jekyll and Hyde-based tv show or film projects have actually been completed since 2008, and I think it's about time that this classic story has been brought into the spotlight again.

Since movies first began to be made more than 100 years ago, a decade hasn't gone by during which at least one Jekyll and Hyde adaptation hasn't been created for the screen. Now we've gone almost four years without one, and I think it's high time we focus on continuing this tradition, lest we break our long-held record.

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