ITV has handed a 10 episode series order to Jekyll & Hyde, a new “modern day” take on the famous story which hails from novelist Charlie Higson and ITV Studios, TVWise has learned.
Jekyll & Hyde is set in 1930s London and will follow Robert Jekyll, the grandson of Henry Jekyll, on his quest to discover his real identity, his true family history and the nature of his ‘curse’ – which his foster father, Dr Vishal Najaran, is controlling with medication. His journey will take him into a dark and unforgiving place, as his alter ego seems capable of anything. At the same time there are shadowy forces trying to find Jekyll and the source of his powers.
The ten episode series is inspired by the original novella by Robert Louis Stevenson and is being penned by acclaimed novelist Charlie Higson. ITV Studios is producing, with Foz Allan serving as the series producer, while Charlie Higson and Francis Hopkinson will executive produce. Casting for Jekyll & Hyde, which is being helmed by Sinbad helmer Colin Teague, is set to begin in the coming weeks; with production expected to commence in India and London early next year.
“Charlie’s vivid and compelling scripts cleverly introduce a brilliant set of characters to a new generation of viewers,” said ITV’s Director of Drama Steve November, who commissioned Jekyll & Hyde alongside ITV’s Controller of Drama Victoria Fea. “We’re thrilled to be commissioning Jekyll & Hyde for a modern day audience.”
Jekyll & Hyde marks the latest attempt at adapting Stevenson’s work for television in recent years. There have been numerous adaptations over the years (including one from Sense8 co-creator J. Michael Straczynski), with the most recent being Steven Moffat’s Jekyll in 2007.
ITV said that their 10 part take will span numerous genres including action and fantasy – ones which director Colin Teague has a lot of experience in – and will rely heavily on CGI; which will be used for the transformation of Jekyll into Hyde, Hyde’s action sequences, and the creation of other characters, such as ghouls, zombies and werewolves.
“It’s an exciting challenge to take Stevenson’s work and use it as the basis for a new Jekyll & Hyde”, added writer and executive producer Charlie Higson. “So many superheroes with secret dual personalities have been brought to life thanks to Jekyll & Hyde. He’s one of literatures most important and influential characters and it’s a privilege to be rediscovering him.”