Seventeen years is a long time in Hollywood, and with the Marlon Brando / Val Kilmer version of The Island Of Dr Moreau now just a distant and surreal memory, Warner Bros. have decided to once again dust off the HG Wells classic. Leonardo DiCaprio's Appian Way production company is behind the "contemporary re-imagining".
Wells' 1896 novel sees narrator Edward Prendick shipwrecked and rescued, only to then be taken to the remote Noble's Isle. Here, the bizarre Dr Moreau is conducting vivisection experiements to create beast-hybrids like the Leopard-Man and the Hyena-Swine, but his creations aren't all entirely happy with the process. There may be trouble ahead...
It's been filmed a few times before. 1932's Island Of Lost Souls, with Charles Laughton and Bela Lugosi, is probably still the best version. There's also The Twilight People (1972) with John Ashley and Pam Grier, and The Island Of Doctor Moreau (1977) with Burt Lancaster and Michael York. And of course, there's the chaotic 1996 farrago, with an elephantine Brando and an out-of-control Kilmer, originally directed by Richard Stanley (Hardware, Dust Devil) until he was replaced by John Frankenheimer during filming, only to return to the set disguised as one of the creatures.
The new version is being set up as a science-fiction adaptation with "a topical ecological message". Hemlock Grove writers Lee Shipman and Brian McGreevy have been tasked with the screenplay.