Eddie Izzard bags lead role as Dr Nina Jekyll in ‘modern reimagining’ of classic horror film

Eddie Izzard during the Six Minutes To Midnight photocall at De La Warr Pavilio

British actor Eddie Izzard has bagged the role of Dr Nina Jekyll in a “modern” retelling of Robert Louis Stevenson’s 1886 novel.

Izzard, the sharp-tongued genderfluid comedian, will take on the lead role in B Good Picture Company’s upcoming film, Doctor Jekyll, the production studio announced Monday (7 February).

The film will bring a fresh twist to the Victorian gothic book and English classroom staple, The Strange Case Of Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde, as it explores Jekyll’s budding friendship with her laboratory aide, Rob, played by newcomer Scott Chambers.

Together, the two will help protect the solitary Jekyll from her greatest enemy – herself. Inside of her lies her festering, murderous doppelganger, Hyde.

“I am very excited to be playing the role of Nina Jekyll in this new feature film,” Oceans Eleven star Izzard said in a statement.

“It’s wonderful to be able to reimagine this classic story in a modern way.”

Directing what will likely be a blood-curdling adaptation of a film all about the shadows and lusts that swell within people, Joe Stephenson said he developed the movie with first-time writer Dan Kelly-Mulhern over lockdown.

“I’m thrilled that Eddie is joining us as my Nina Jekyll,” Stephenson, whose credits include Chicken and McKellen: Playing the Part, the 2017 documentary that followed the life of acclaimed actor Ian McKellen.< "With her being the extraordinary and versatile actress she is, playing against Scott’s natural talent to make us believe in the good in people, I can't wait to bring this suspenseful take on the iconic classic to life."

Eddie Izzard said it’s a ‘great honour’ when people use her correct pronouns

Eddie Izzard knows what it means to struggle with her identity. Last year, the trailblazer reflected on how someone using her correct pronouns can make all the difference in her feeling like her most authentic self.

But years of abuse from strangers, whether it be on the streets or on the stage, has left her hardened. She knows that she must be “ready for a fight at any time” to simply exist, she told LBC‘s Natasha Devon at the time.

“I’m sort of battle-hardened now, so I’m sorry if people are having feeling they’re having a tough time,” she explained.

Eddie Izzard arrives ahead of a meeting of the National Executive of Britain’s Labour Party on September 4, 2018 in London, England. (Jack Taylor/Getty Images)

“I would say, do come out but realise you’ve got about a 10-year acclimatisation fight after that that is there and you have to account for that.

“Don’t think it’s all going to be plain sailing after that because it isn’t. But it does get better and if you can stay that course your life will be so much better.”

So when people in her life do something as simple as using her pronouns, it gives her hope.

“It’s such a great honour,” she said. “I’m putting it into words but I can’t quite explain it. Every time someone says it, I just, woah, what a hit, it’s very positive.

“So I feel forwards, onwards, upwards, and the disagreements that are there, they will happen and people get fractious but hopefully we will constantly be moving forward to a better place.”