Nowhere To Hyde For Ferrara

Jekyll film permanently stalled

Nowhere To Hyde For Ferrara

by Owen Williams |
Published on

It was always an unusually high-profile, mainstream project for its director, and things had gone rather quiet lately, so this comes as no real surprise. But The Guardian has final confirmation, if confirmation were really needed, that Abel Ferrara's version of Jekyll and Hyde is no longer happening.

Ferrara directed the original Bad Lieutenant and its brilliant spiritual follow-ups The Funeral and The Addiction, as well as **King of New York, **with its terrifying central performance by Christopher Walken. Recent years have seen him dip seriously below the radar though, with the documentaries and features he's worked on barely securing releases. There were brief reports of him directing Game of Death for Wesley Snipes (who was also in King of New York), but it went ahead with Giorgio Serafini behind the camera.

His modern-day Jekyll and Hyde was set to star Forest Whitaker and 50 Cent. Fiddy "could be an awesome Edward Hyde," says Ferrara, "but it's not going to get made. Warner Brothers put up about one fifth of what the film should cost and wanted about one third of what it's gonna make, and I'm supposed to kiss the feet of whoever made that deal." Ouch!

We feel his pain and applaud his maverick independence ("the minute you have to raise one dollar, you're in a world of shit and compromise", he bemoans) but it's a shame it means we don't get to see his work more often. He's now moved on to an end-of-the-world film called The Last Day on Earth, which may or may not have any sort of budget. "If there's nobody to see it, I'll watch it!"

Of the stalled Jekyll and Hyde he says, "No one ever made it the way it was written. It's a guy and his creation. Having one actor play both parts is an abomination; a distortion of Stevenson's story. It's a masterpiece. I'm gonna make it one day."

Until then, we'll have to make do with the Keanu Reeves version and the Sherlock Holmes-style "re-imagining". Lucky us.

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