A few years ago Forest Whitaker won a Best Actor Oscar for his spellbinding performance as dictatorial mass murderer Idi Amin. Now he’s starring opposite 50 Cent in the latest re-telling of Jekyll and Hyde. I’d roll my eyes, but the director is Abel Ferrara (Bad Lieutenant, Driller Killer, Ms. 45), someone who can be a cinematic Jekyll and Hyde in his own right.
Bloody Disgusting got the poster and the synopsis for this contemporary re-working of Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic novel that casts Forest Whitaker as a well-to-do scientist with a heart of gold and bulletproof rapper Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson as his evil alter ego.
“Dr. Jekyll is a rich doctor of great generosity who lives on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Mr. Hyde is a sadistic murderer with a reputation that strikes fear in the hearts of people throughout New York. Peter Utterson, Dr. Jekyll’s lawyer and friend, investigates the mystery of who Mr. Hyde is and why he is the sole beneficiary of Jekyll’s will.
The devastating answer is that Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde are the same person, and the urgent problem is how to kill the beast without destroying the man.”
Now if this were really trying to be cutting edge, it would explore the duality of modern black culture with Dr. Jekyll the Bill Cosby-like model of the modern, successful African-American male who transforms into a sociopathic, misogynistic gangbanger, the living embodiment of the very worst side of African-Americans often sung about in gangsta rap. More than likely Jekyll and Hyde will just be another variation of the tale, only with a New York urban flavor. But with Abel Ferrara in the director’s chair, you really don’t know what to expect. I’m looking forward to seeing the trailer to see what direction they’re going in with this one.
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