Keanu Reeves to star in new take on Jekyll

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Dec 14, 2012, 3:54 PM EST

Universal is developing a modern retelling of the classic novella "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde," with Keanu Reeves attached to star and Justin Haythe (Revolutionary Road) writing the script, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Nicolas Winding Refn is in negotiations to direct the project, titled Jekyll. It is being produced by Erwin Stoff and Red Wagon Entertainment's Douglas Wick and Lucy Fisher.

Robert Louis Stevenson's tale about a doctor who scientifically develops an evil self has become so pervasive in popular culture that the phrase "Jekyll and Hyde" conjures the idea of a split personality. The story has been translated to the screen and stage dozens of times, with several deviations including comedy, kids (Jekyll and Heidi) and gender (1995's Dr. Jekyll and Ms. Hyde). The story has seen modern iterations as recently as 2007, when the BBC aired a miniseries with the story set in the present as Hyde ran amok in London.

Plot details for this Jekyll are being kept under wraps.

Universal has also has been developing a take on it with Guillermo del Toro, though the two couldn't be more different.

Del Toro, who has an affinity for gothic horror as well as creature features, aims to stick more closely to the Stevenson tale. Del Toro's project is on the slow track as the filmmaker works on The Hobbit, which is expected to take up the next five years.