Darwin Biopic Planned For Director Amiel

It's survival of the fittest time

by Willow Green |
Published on

After the recent spate of biopics about musicians and monarchs, a rather more intellectual subject has been lined up for the movie treatment, with the news that 19th century egghead and science revolutionary Charles Darwin is to be the focus of a new film, from director Jon Amiel and producer Jeremy Thomas. We're thinking this is not a film aimed at America's 'red' states.

Based on a book about Darwin's life called **Annie's Box **by Darwin's great-great-grandson Randall Keynes, the film covers the period of the scientist's life when he returned to his family home at Down House and started to write his 'Origin of the Species'. The title refers to Darwin's oldest daughter, whose death aged 10 left him grief-stricken. Since his scientific discoveries had moved him towards agnosticism, he was unable to take refuge in religion, and threw himself into his work instead.

The film is set to focus on his relationship with his children, but also on the extraordinary controversy his ideas called - something producer Thomas says is highly relevant at a time when creationism is such a topic of controversy.

John Collee (Happy Feet, Master and Commander, which touched on Darwinism) is adapting the script, and the film is set to be released in 2009 for the bicentenary of Darwin's birth, with shooting next year on location at Down House.

As for director Jon Amiel, he is the man behind the original, TV adaptation of The Singing Detective, as well as films like Copycat, Sommersby and underrated Bill Murray comedy The Man Who Knew Too Little. And, er, **The Core. **But surely we've all forgiven him for that by now. It has, after all, been four years, and viewed as a silly B-movie it's a lot of fun. Let's just hope that the science is a bit sharper this time, because if even creationists can poke holes in the plot logic, you know you're in trouble.

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