Monster movies are making a comeback, it would seem. Earlier this year, the revelation of the release of 10 Cloverfield Lane, a roundabout sequel to Cloverfield, lit the fuse for a universe to be created around the invasion of the enormous monster and its ilk. Universal is attempting to build a universe centered around the classic monster movies – The Mummy, Frankenstein, Dracula, etc. – despite the fact that the movies that have been released thus far under this project have been largely insufferable and tremendously boring. But hey, we’ll see how Tom Cruise does in The Mummy reboot, and the prospect of Russell Crowe as Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is very promising.
Another studio is seemingly jumping on this train with Jekyll, a remake of the unnerving, quite excellent BBC series of the same name. As Deadline reports, Lionsgate has tapped Zombieland helmer Ruben Fleischer to direct the remake with Chris Evans attached to star as the titular good guy/really bad guy. Evans had been rumored to be eyeing the role earlier this year, but there had been no confirmation of his involvement before this. It’s unclear if this will end up being the beginning of another god-forsaken universe that will ensure that another studio doesn’t have to think up anything original for another decade.
Fleischer, for his part, certainly has a buoyancy to his style that could serve the movie well. Zombieland, his breakout film, was a genuine delight and that had as much to do with a superb cast – Woody Harrelson, Emma Stone, Jesse Eisenberg, and Bill Murray – as it did with Fleischer’s fleet-footed pacing and antic stylistic curlicues. And for all its fault, there’s quite a lot of energy and big ideas in 30 Minutes or Less, his not-so-well-received follow-up to Zombieland. There’s no excusing his most recent film, Gangster Squad, however, and it’s largely due to its near-dogmatic loyalty to Hollywood classicism. Here’s hoping that he returns to his more unpredictable, thrilling brand of filmmaking with Jekyll, and that Evans is ready to play a truly wild villain.