Modern Jekyll and Hyde Project
By:Peter Burton, Ernie Kennedy, Adam Nunez
Summary of Plot and Characters
Plot: The story focuses on the point of view of Mr. Utterson, a lawyer and friend of Dr. Jekyll. Utterson witnesses Mr. Hyde trample over a girl in the street. Mr. Hyde gives compensation to the family of the girl by writing giving them a check from Dr. Jekyll. Utterson finds out that Hyde will also inherit all of Jekyll's estate. Utterson believes that Hyde is blackmailing Jekyll. Utterson tries to ask Jekyll about it but he is brushed off by Jekyll. A year later, Mr. Hyde attacks someone else. He beats a man with a cane, resulting in the man's death. The police involve Utterson because he knew the victim. Utterson takes them to Mr. Hyde's apartment, where they find the murder weapon. Utterson realizes that the murder weapon was actually a gift that he gave to Dr. Jekyll. Utterson begins to ask Dr. Jekyll about Mr. Hyde, but Jekyll stonewalls him and says that Mr. Hyde has run away. He shows John a note from Mr. Hyde, telling Jekyll that he is leaving, but the handwriting is very close to Dr. Jekyll's. They take the note to a handwriting expert and he says that the letter was actually written by Jekyll. For awhile, things seem to improve. Mr. Hyde doesn't come back, and Dr. Jekyll starts having parties and hanging out with his friends again. But then one of Utterson's friend dies suddenly. Before he died, the friend gave John a note. He told Utterson that it should only be opened in the case that Dr. Jekyll either dies. Dr. Jekyll starts acting even weirder and hides inside his laboratory. Eventually his butler and Utterson break into the laboratory, concerned because the voice they heard sounds like a possible intruder that may have done something to Jekyll. Once inside, they find Mr. Hyde dead on the floor. THey also notice that he was wearing Jekyll's clothes. They determine that he had committed suicide. Next to his body is a letter. Utterson reads both letters now. The one from his friends Lanyon, and the one sitting beside a dead Hyde. The letters reveal the truth about what has been happening. The letter written by Lanyon who explains that Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde are the same person. He explains that they transform into each other using potions. The second letter, written by Dr. Jekyll, tells the reason that Jekyll/Hyde was transforming. Dr. Jekyll wanted to separate his good side and his bad side. He thought he could control it with the potions, but eventually the transformations got out of control and he would transform involuntarily without the potions. Dr. Jekyll tried different methods to stop the transformations, but nothing worked. He knew he would turn into Hyde forever. The letter was thing Dr. Jekyll did while he was still Dr. Jekyll. Hyde decides to kill himself rather than permanently be evil, and he knows that these evil tendencies will never end.
John Utterson is the main character. He is a lawyer and a friend of Dr. Jekyll. He suspects something weird is happening between Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, but he thinks that Mr. Hyde is blackmailing Dr. Jekyll. Eventually he learns that Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde are the same person. His curiosity is a key aspect of this character.
Dr. Jekyll is a scientist. While searching for a way to separate his good side from his bad side, creates a serum that transforms himself into a man who commits evil acts. Eventually he cannot control the transformations anymore and he soon needs potions so to not become permanently evil. Eventually Dr. Jekyll runs out of serum, and realizes that he may become Hyde for forever.
Dr. Lanyon - He is a close friend with both Jekyll and Utterson. Lanyon is very close friends with Jekyll until suddenyl their friendship ends mysteriously. They no longer want to see each other. He gives Utterson a letter which is key in revealing the situation that Jekyll is in. His death almost mirrors the death of Jekyll, and serves to represent to death of Jekyll's good nature.
Mr. Poole - Jekyll’s butler. Mr. Poole is a servant for Dr. Jekyll. He has worked for Jekyll for 20 years. He becomes concerned about Dr. Jekyll when he starts acting weird. He goes and gets Utterson's help to try to save Dr. Jekyll.
Mr. Enfield - A distant cousin and lifelong friend of Mr. Utterson. He isn't a key character in the plot. He often goes walking with Mr. Utterson and they see a crazed Dr. Jekyll from his window.
Mr. Guest - Utterson’s clerk. Guest is an expert in handwriting. He becomes useful when Utterson wants him to examine a bit of Hyde’s handwriting. Guest notices that Hyde’s script is the same as Jekyll’s. Except that it appears that it is written with a different hand because of the different slant.
Utterson heads home to look over the will he had made to Dr. Jeckyll. In the will it says that if Jekyll dies or disappears, all of his stuff should be given over immediately to a Mr. Edward Hyde. This will had Utterson if something bad was going on, maybe blackmail, but after he heard about Hyde's craziness, he becomes upset thinks that this Mr. Hyde has power over Dr. Jekyll. Seeking to discover what is going on, he visits Dr. Lanyon, a friend of Jekyll’s. Lanyon doesn't know who Hyde is and has fallen out of favor with Jekyll because of a dispute.
2. The Murder Case
The scene opens early in the moring on a maid who witnesses a murder take place in the street . She sees a small, evil-looking man, who she recognizes as Mr. Hyde, talking to an old man; when the gentleman greets Hyde, Hyde suddenly turns on him with a stick, beating him to death. The police find a letter addressed to Utterson on the dead body, so they summon MR. Utterson. He says that the body is Sir Danvers Carew.
Once the men break into laboratory, they find Hyde lying on the floor, dead. It seems as though he poisoned himself. Utterson notes that Hyde is wearing clothes that belongs Jekyll. The men search through Jekyll's house and laboratory, but they find neither a trace of Jekyll. They note a large mirror and think it strange to find such an item in a scientific laboratory. On a table they find a letter addressed to Utterson that contains three items. The first is a will, similar to the previous one, but it replaces Hyde’s name with Utterson’s. This new will is pulling an old switcheroo. The second is a note to Utterson. Utterson believes that Jekyll is still alive and he wonders if Hyde really died by suicide or if Jekyll killed him. The letter tells Utterson to go home and read the letter that Lanyon gave him. Utterson takes the third item from the envelope. It was a sealed packet. It promises Poole that Poole will go to the police in the evening. He then heads back to his office to read Lanyon’s letter and to see what was in the packet.
Reputation is very important to the characters in the book. This is evident by the fact that Utterson and Enfield avoid telling gossip as much as possible; they think that telling gossip hurts your reputation. Similarly, when Utterson suspects Jekyll first of being blackmailed and then of sheltering Hyde from the police, he does not make his suspicions known. Part of being Jekyll’s close friend is a willingness to keep his secrets and not ruin his respectability. The importance of reputation in the book also shows the importance of appearances which often hide an ugly truth. In many instances in the novel, Utterson wishes not only to preserve Jekyll’s reputation but also to preserve the appearance of order.
In The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, curiosity drives the characters to seek knowledge. This curiosity is either suppressed or fulfilled in each character. The characters who did not express their curiosity in the mystery are seen as weak. The characters’ curiosities are transferred to the reader. The curiosity makes the reader want to solve the mystery with Utterson.
Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (1941) review
Spencer Tracy is great in this, doing Mr Hyde basically with changes in behavior and agility rather than heavy make-up. This is more of a thriller than a horror movie, which works well because the plot could actually be done well without jump scares interrupting it. Although it is a thriller, story is slow-moving and psychological. It's not the version to watch if you are looking for excitement or horror, but as a more psychological approach. Instead of trampling a girl and killing an old man, Hyde abuses a woman who was previously interested in Jekyll. This creates a greater sense of the evil in Hyde. The addition of the female character was good, but the character itself was boring. Overall, Spencer Tracy carries this movie.
The new version is going to take place in modern day. Dr. Henry Jekyll has succeeded in curing an ape of its incurable brain disease., but nobody believes him. He becomes very annoyed by the fact that society doesn't believe his achievement. He tests the serum on himself, resulting in unanticipated consequences. He is transformed into the evil Mr. Hyde. Dr. Jekyll does not realize that Hyde is himself, and develops a kind of multiple personality disorder. Hyde murders some of Jekyll's neighbors and frames Jekyll. Jekyll feels guilty about the murders, and gives the victims' families $30,000 in damages. Hyde also murders Jekyll's fiance, Donna Carew. During a dinner party, Jekyll's friend Dennis Lanyon sees his colleague transform into Hyde before his eyes. Detective Karen Utterson and Lanyon race to find Jekyll before it's too late, as the serum starts to turn Jekyll into Hyde permanently. Jekyll tries giving himself up to the police, but Hyde won't allow him to go to prison, knowing he will be executed: If Hyde dies, so does Jekyll. Jekyll commits suicide by jumping off the roof of a hospital, in order to make sure that Hyde will never hurt anyone ever again.
We will use completely different actors for Jekyll and Hyde. That way we can fully establish the physical attributes which are different between the two men. I think that in the old version, the only reason the same actor could play Jekyll and Hyde is that he put on a very good performance.
Dr Jekyll- The actor playing Dr. Jekyll must be middle-aged, distinguished-looking, and a large man. He will be reserved, but friendly and helpful. This character will be a part of many scenes in the new adaption. A key scene he will participate in is the discovery of his dead fiancee, who Hyde has killed. The dramatic irony is there because only the audience knows Hyde (who is also Jekyll) killed Jekyll's fiancee. Actors- Vincent D'Onofrio or Mark Ruffalo
Mr. Hyde- The actor who plays hide will be smaller and creepier. He will have a sinister aura. He will play a key part in many scenes. He will do a lot of killing. The most important scene he will be in is the murder of Jekyll's fiancee, Donna Carew. Actors- Christoph Waltz or Danny Devito
Mr. Utterson- The actor must be tall and lanky. He is not too outwardly emotional, but he is thoughtful and pensive. He is lovable while also being somewhat boring. His key characteristic is curiosity. Mr Utterson will be in the scene where the butler and he are in Jekyll's lab, breaking down the door to try to get to Mr Hyde. The tension will be extreme. Actors- John Krasinski or Matthew Modine.
Donna Carew (Jekyll's fiancee)- This actress, being the only female main character, stereotypically must be really hot. This character really has no redeeming qualities except for her beauty. Really, her only full scene we be her murder. She will be a home and Hyde will have key to their house, because he is also Jekyll technically. She will scream a lot. Actresses- Jennifer Aniston, Sofia Vergara.
Dennis Lanyon- This guy has to be very outgoing and hilarious because he play a large part in the part scene. He will possess an extreme amount of charisma. He will be the life of the party, until he watches Jekyll transform into Hyde before his eyes. Actors- Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio.
Setting- The setting will be in Detroit because similar to our main character who was once a great scientist, turned uncontrollable fiend, Detroit, once a great city backed by the booming automotive industry, has fallen hard in recent years into a crime-ridden metropolis. Dr. Jekyll will be living in a dense urban apartment. This will grant easy access for Hyde to murder all of his neighbors.
Costumes- Dr Jekyll will wear a lab coat for the entire movie to show how dedicated he is to his research. He never takes it off. Never. Hyde will look like a hobo street rat. He will be in ripped and dirty clothes, and is hair will look like he hasn't washed it in years. Hyde will have makeup on to make him look sinister. Maybe some eyeliner. He might look something like this picture.
Music- The soundtrack will include classical music when Dr Jekyll is working and concentrating. This will show how "pure" he is. This music will contrast with frantic music such as "Rhapsody in Blue" by Gershwin. Other songs- The Devil In Me, by Cliff Eberhardt, Blind Guardian - Mirror Mirror.