Keanu Reeves to Play Stevenson’s Jekyll and Hyde.
The Guardian says it far better than I could, as I seem only to be able to muster “Oh dear. Oh..why would they..? Oh, that’s not good.”
Keanu Reeves has apparently been cast in an upcoming film adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
That’s fine, you think. I’m sure as a bumbling innkeeper, he’ll provide some much needed comedy relief! He’ll be onscreen…what…three minutes?
Not so, humble and naive readers, Reeves has been cast to play both the well-respected, upper class doctor, Dr. Jekyll, and his murderous, monstrous alter-ego, Edward Hyde.
What in God’s name?! It’s not Point Break, it’s not Bill and Ted…it’s not even the Matrix, which contained so much funny jumping, cool sunglasses and flapping of coats that it effectively distracted the viewer from Reeves’ inability to act his way out of a sodden pile of used Kleenex. Who has time to blanch at his inauthentically croaked “Trinity…I…I love you…” when there are FIFTY HUGO WEAVINGS! to contend with. The Matrix had coolness to spare, and that saved Reeves’ butt from the scathing critical spanking it so richly deserved.
Seriously. To give credit where credit is due, he was great in Parenthood (in which he played an airheaded, cheerful imbecile with a heart of gold and a race car), and brilliant in Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure (in which he played an airheaded, cheerful imbecile with a heart of gold and a guitar). But having watched the (excellent) 1993 adaptation of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, I’d say the single big mistake Kenneth Branagh made was casting Keanu Reeves as the malevolent, hateful Don John. His attempts at scowling, glaring and scheming were little more than pained grimaces, squinting and generally looking like he had a headache.
The story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is a complex, dark, chilling tale, full of metaphor and symbolism, making strong statements about human nature and what lives inside us all. I don’t recall the word ‘dude’ appearing in the text even once. It’s a book well worth reading. Please, read the book. Look! You can get it for a dollar! You can’t get a coffee for a dollar anymore. Read the book, and then, if you must, go watch the movie when it’s out.
Please. I’d take Haley Joel Osment over Keanu Reeves.
…huh. Seems like I had something to say after all.