EXCLUSIVE: Chris Evans might be diversifying from his Captain America good-guy persona. Evans has come attached to play the lead role of Tom Jackman in Jekyll, the feature that Lionsgate is developing from the 2007 BBC One series. Ellen DeGeneres and Jeff Kleeman are producing through their A Very Good Production banner, and scribe team Anthony Bagarozzi & Charles Mondry have written a script based on the Steven Moffat-scripted six-episode miniseries. Bagarozzi & Mondry teamed on the Shane Black-directed The Nice Guys and Doc Savage, as well as the remake of Death Note. No director yet.
This creates a potential collision course between projects sourced from the Robert Louis Stevenson public-domain novel about the doctor with the split personality. Universal’s classic monsters franchises set Russell Crowe to play the dual-personality doc, first in The Mummy opposite Tom Cruise and presumably as a stand-alone in a later film.
The BBC miniseries wasn’t a straight adaptation of the Stevenson novella; rather, the lit classic was a jumping-off point for a sequel. In the miniseries, James Nesbitt played Jackman, a modern-day descendant of Jekyll who is beginning to exhibit the trademark split personality. The father and husband abandons his family, without explaining why, and lives in a fortified basement with a psychiatric nurse as his ally. When they strap the doctor to a metal chair, she watches him transform into an alter ego who rages, shows heightened strength and speed and can be a charming, flirtatious scoundrel as well. The two personalities try to co-exist, even though one doesn’t remember what the other does while in control of the body. They use a microcassette to leave messages for each other. Unable to stay away from the family he left behind for their own safety, he visits his wife, Hyde assumes control and learns about them, and things grow very complicated.
CAA and 3 Arts rep Evans, who next will carry the red, white and blue shield in back-to-back installments of The Avengers, following the blockbuster Captain America: Civil War.