Pharyngula

I’ll go see it

A new movie about Darwin is in the works—

Jeremy Thomas is set to produce Annie’s Box about Charles Darwin, and hiring John Collee to write and directed by Jon Amiel.

The film will be based on a biography of Darwin by Randall Keynes, the great-great grandson of the Victorian scientist. Variety notes it focuses on the period when Darwin was writing The Origin of the Species, his ground-breaking treatise on evolution, while living a family life at Down House in Kent, near London.

The ‘Annie’ of the title is Darwin’s first daughter, whose death aged 10 left him grief-stricken. With his scientific discoveries leading him toward agnosticism, he was unable to find consolation in belief in an afterlife, but coped with his loss by plunging into his work.

Thomas plans to start production on Annie’s Box next year in Down House; he’s hoping for a release in 2009, the bicentennial of Darwin’s birth.

The book it is based on is Darwin, His Daughter, and Human Evolution (amzn/b&n/abe/pwll) by Randal Keynes, and it’s an excellent choice. There’s a great deal of potential for family-centered drama in the story—it’s all about his family life, and in particular the effect of the death of a daughter at the age of 10—but there’s also some difficult material on Darwin’s tussle with religion that’s going to be hard to capture. (It’s also not easily summarized; Darwin left Christianity behind, but his ideas about a deity were conflicted).

Comments

  1. #1 David Marjanovi?
    February 28, 2007

    I do have some qualms about the book’s accuracy though — given the bloopers that I did recognize, I have to wonder how much else the author got wrong.

    What were those?

  2. #2 David Marjanovi?
    February 28, 2007

    I do have some qualms about the book’s accuracy though — given the bloopers that I did recognize, I have to wonder how much else the author got wrong.

    What were those?

  3. #3 Sastra
    February 28, 2007

    Since Darwin’s ideas about a deity were, as you say, “conflicted” I’m willing to bet that the end result will be typical Hollywood pandering to the spiritual middle: Darwin loses his belief in a literalist, anthropomorphic God only to realize that there is a Higher Power, and it is grander (and vaguer) than any of the ideas of Him which humans have created. The general public loves to believe that Truth is always in the middle ground between extremes, and everyone loves to see themselves and their heroes as that moderate sort of common-sense type who figures this out.

  4. #4 David Marjanovi?
    February 28, 2007

    always in the middle ground between extremes

    Two extremes. Always.

  5. #5 David Marjanovi?
    February 28, 2007

    always in the middle ground between extremes

    Two extremes. Always.

The site is currently under maintenance and will be back shortly. New comments have been disabled during this time, please check back soon.