Of the big Scream movie Wes Craven is to get his hands on the classic spine chiller Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.
The director is to make the tenth version of Robert Louis Stevenson’s captivating story. But Craven, whose Scream trilogy has made over GBP250million worldwide will add a new twist to the tale, Hollywood sources claim.
And Paisley-born actor Gerry Butler is being tipped for the lead role. A spokesman for Dimension Film Set said: “We are very excited to have Wes on this project.
“It promises to be a fresh and very different version of a classic.” Although what the new take on the story would be, he did not say.
For the rising Gerry Butler, 31, the role follows on the heels of his leading role in Craven’s last film Dracula 2001. He only took up acting after dropping law at Glasgow University just a week before he qualified.
He has said of his career change: “Just before I was about to qualify I gave it all up to become an actor. I just thought, ‘I really don’t want to do this’. My family and friends thought I was mad, but now they could not be happier.”
He met actor Steven Berkoff – who appeared in Beverley Hills Cop – in a London coffee shop and then was cast in Shakespeare’s Coriolanus. He also starred as Billy Connolly’s brother in Mrs Brown and was in the Bond picture Tomorrow Never Dies.
Screen writer Craig Rosebury, who wrote the third Jurassic Park film will pen the script.
For Craven, who built his reputation with Nightmare On Elm Street, it will be a departure as the film is to be based on a novella, written 115 years ago.
Edinburgh-born, R L Stevenson suffered chronic health problems throughout his childhood, confining him to bed. Trained initially as an engineer by his father, he went on to study French literature and law at university.
His first book, An Inland Voyage was published in 1878. By that time he had met American Fanny Vandergrift Osbourne, 10 years his senior and already married. He followed her to San Francisco and after her divorce they wed in 1880.
His first novel Treasure Island was published in 1883, to be followed by the Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.
The story was born out of a nightmare. Woken by his wife midway through the dream he decided to set down the tale – revising it afterwards to inject a more moral tale. The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde was in part based on the geography of his native Edinburgh – the difference between the classical New Town and the seedy but historic Old Town being turned into two facets of the same individual.
It centred on the hypocritical lives of middle-aged, middle-class Victorian men, pillars of respectability by day, but giving free rein to their base instincts at night among the brothels of the Old Town. His character, the respectable Dr Jekyll is transformed by a potion into the murderous Mr Hyde.
It is the 10th movie based on RL Stevenson’s book. Previous actors who have played the lead include Spencer Tracey, Jack Palance, Budd Abbott and Lou Costello.
Copyright 2001 The Express on Sunday