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Bettany and Connelly Join Charles Darwin Biopic Titled Creation

by
September 4, 2008

Bettany and Connelly Join Charles Darwin Biopic Titled Creation

Husband and wife Paul Bettany and Jennifer Connelly have been cast as a married couple in an upcoming film titled Creation (previously known as Origin). The film tells the life story of Charles Darwin, the English naturalist who essentially came up with the idea of evolution. This biopic is being directed by Jon Amiel, of Entrapment and The Core, and has script penned by John Collee, of Master and Commander and Happy Feet. Bettany will play Darwin, while Connelly will play his wife Emma, which is a good fit considering they're married in real life, too. Also part of the cast are Jeremy Northam, Toby Jones and Benedict Cumberbatch, however the role of of daughter Annie has yet to be announced.

Oscar winning producer Jeremy Thomas, who is developing the film, explains that "John Collee's compelling script tells the remarkable story behind Darwin's revolutionary theory and the foundation of a book that changed the world." He adds, "we think of Darwin as an old man with a gray beard. The reality of our story is very different." Creation will portray Darwin as a man torn between his love for his deeply religious wife and his own growing belief in a world where God has no place. The scientist finds himself caught in a struggle between faith and reason, love and truth. Collee's script is based on the book "Annie's Box" written by Randal Keynes. Shooting starts at the end of September in England.

With Bill Maher's Religulous documentary causing quite a stir amongst moviegoers, I'm curious whether something like this will end up in religious crosshairs as well or whether it will just play as a a piece of cinema. It should certainly be an interesting project to follow, especially considering Jon Amiel isn't exactly an indie filmmaker, meaning we can expect a fairly big film in the end. Anyone else interested in this?

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  • drew
    seriously? i love jennifer connelly but how 'bout we just drug everyone with morphine and get it over with. YAWN
  • Staatz
    A biopic on Alfred Russel Wallace would be more intresting... Also he didn't come up with the idea of evolution, he discovered the mechinism that allowed for evolution: natural selection.
  • Matthew
    Why would they change the name *from* 'Origin' *to* 'Creation'? What sense does that make? To begin with 'Origin' would be more fitting given the title of Darwins most famous book 'On the Origin of Species' and secondly, Evolution concerns what happens to life *after* it has formed, it's got bog-all to do with it's 'creation'. I dunno, that just seems like a counter-intuitive move to me.
  • Peloquin
    I will be eagerly awaiting this...if creationism is still looked upon as a theory in this day and age I can imagine that back then it was much tougher to go against the religious grain.
  • Ray
    he discovered "how to be an asshole" hahaha! Fuck charles darwin. All he did was roam around the world because he was such a disgrace to his father!
  • Tucker
    Looks interesting, hopefully it remains accurate to history. His life was interesting enough not to need dramatic embellishment.
  • themadlolscientist, FCD
    @ Staatz: I agree, we need a Wallace biopic. The man certainly lived an exciting life. You'd think scenes like this would draw the crowds: "After [...] three weeks at sea, the captain approached Wallace and calmly announced, 'I am afraid the ship's on fire. Come and see what you think of it.'" (from an entry at the Beagle project blog) Ah, the inimitable aplomb of the English gentry..........I love it! :-) But seeing as how Wallace doesn't have the public name recognition, I suspect the only way we'll get one is if the Beeb takes it on. (At least we know that if the Beeb does it, it's in good hands.) Anyone who's interested: check out the Wallace Collection at the Natural History Museum: wwwDOTnhmDOTacDOTuk @ Matthew: I and a lot of other Enquiring Minds would like to know the answer to that question too. Just doesn't make sense...... @ Ray: Of all the things Darwin was NOT, an asshole has to be #1 on the list. And he certainly wasn't a disgrace to his father. His father certainly was afraid of that happening, since Charles was too squeamish to follow in his father's footsteps as a doctor and simply had no calling for the clergy - two of the "proper" careers for an English gentleman. It's true that Robert Darwin had to be persuaded to let Charles go on the Beagle voyage, but he could hardly argue with his son's scientific interests, since his own father, Dr. Erasmus Darwin, had been a renowned naturalist. Charles Darwin started writing and publishing soon after he returned to England, and was an active and well-respected member of the professional scientific community long before publishing Origin. Origin was read eagerly not only by scientists but by the lay public in an era of fascination with all things scientific. (In fact, Origin was not Darwin's first best-seller. He'd become a popular author 20 years earlier, with the publication of his Voyage of the Beagle.) Hardly a disgrace to anyone, I'd say. Go get a clue. A good place to start to get an idea of the man and his character is The Reluctant Mr. Darwin, by David Quammen. Better yet, read Darwin's autobiography at darwin-onlineDOTorgDOTuk. While you're there, read some of his letters and his biography of his grandfather, as well as his scientific writings. There's no excuse for calling someone an asshole when the evidence to the contrary is as close as your monitor. Now....... go to your room, young mister troll, and no cookies for you until you've done your homework!
  • Shooey
    Honestly the cast is great and I'm especially pleased to see Jeremy Northam and Toby Jones in it as well.
  • dishy
    Oh Jeremy Northam....how cool! Love him in Tudors.
  • Debora Larsson
    Paul Bettany rocks
  • As an old had at marketing and advertising, the reason the title "creation", was chosen has several reasons. Firstly, it sounds better. It reads better and instantly. It has many between the lines meanings. Then the word has been over used a lot in the past 10 years, in the word "CreationISM". It causes the emotions to bubble. It creates a stir. Creation is the realm of religion and God. These days, we have ceased to associate the word "creation" with the artist. This is a commercial film. Much investment and cost has been involved. The producers wish to not only get their investment back but to make money out of the investment. The expenses must be paid. The team must pay bills and survive. They didn't make it for their health. Calling it "Origin" could mean anything at all. The word goes nowhere. It could be just another SiFi film, like "Alien". Or perhaps it's about somethin else entirely, like family history. No, Creation, is the right title, for it works for the film and does a job. Even if it's controversial, that's on to a winner. In fact, the film is concerned about religion and love and family, Darwin's own famiy. He was up against the God Brigade. His wife was profoundly religious, as he himself had been. They worked out their problems in love. They lost their beloved daughter, aged only 10. Creation has a rich content and says a lot. It was the best choice for title. A film about Wallace might be exciting too, but who in the world has heard or knows about him? Precious few. No sale there. There are very many very great and deserving human beings who will never have a film made about their lives. Just read John Pilger's book, called "Heroes" to name but a few million.
  • PS. "US snubs film on theory of evolution: A BRITISH film about Charles Darwin has failed to find a US distributor because his theory of evolution is too controversial for American audiences, according to its producer. http://snipurl.com/ru82g" Actually, almost everyone incorrectly calls it a "theory". It is not a theory, it is in fact, a fact of life, with all the evidence and proven irrefutably. Carl Sagan gave a very clear, very beautiful, very short description of the proof in his book and tv series, "Cosmos" back in the 1970's. Religious nutz just are too lazy to exercize their brains.

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