Gabriel Byrne's dream to bring an adaptation of DR JEKYLL AND MR HYDE to the big screen is in financial crisis - 11 years after the Irish actor first pitched the project to director Nicolas Roeg.

Byrne was so taken with Japanese author SHUSAKO ENDO's SCANDAL - a reworking of Stevenson's classic novel - he wrote a letter to the Performance director suggesting he make it into a movie.

In a bizarre coincidence, Roeg finally took on the project and cast Byrne in the lead role, even though he didn't receive his letter.

The 54-year-old says, "It's so ironic because 11 years ago I wrote to Nicolas Roeg saying he had to direct a film of this book. At that stage, I wasn't even proposing myself for the role. I just thought it would be a fantastic film.

"He never actually got the letter and now, 11 years on, he sent me a script based on the very same book. It's an amazing coincidence. It was supposed to start filming before Christmas but it ran out of money but I definitely want and believe it will happen."

Producer EDDIE DICK is confident filming will start shortly, "We're putting the finance back together as we speak. It wasn't the case that we ran out of money but that some of the finances were incompatible with each other.

"At this stage, all I can say is that it's looking good and filming is projected for May (05)."

31/01/2005 13:59