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Disney to Reportedly Make Adventure Film About Evolutionary Theorist Charles Darwin


"Human beings were descended from apes."

Famed evolutionary biologist Charles Darwin (Photo Credit: AP)

Disney has reportedly acquired a film that involves Charles Darwin, the geologist and scientist who developed the theory of evolution.

Famed evolutionary biologist Charles Darwin (Photo Credit: AP) Famed naturalist and geologist Charles Darwin (AP)

According to Deadline, the untitled project will be written and directed by Stephen Gaghan, a writer and director known for penning the screenplay for "Traffic," among other films and TV projects.

The movie is reportedly slated to be an adventure film, though Deadline reported that extensive details are not currently available.

The adventure angle could prove intriguing for Disney, considering the intense controversy over science and religion that has often clouded over Darwin and his theory of evolution.

As Deadline reported, the scientist, who lived from 1809 to 1882, had somewhat of an "Indiana Jones-like swashbuckling spirit in him," giving the film company an opening to use adventure as a unifying means to attract audiences.

In an interactive timeline of Darwin's life that was prepared by the BBC, these real-life adventures are on full display, as he set out in 1831 on a years-long voyage around the globe aboard the HMS Beagle

"Over the following five years, Darwin visited four continents, spending much of his time on land collecting specimens and investigating the local geology. He also had long periods with nothing to do but read and reflect," the BBC reported. "Books such as Charles Lyell's recently published Principles of Geology had a profound impact, making him think about slow processes which occur over vast periods of time."

It was in 1859 that Darwin published "On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection," his monumentally popular book that alluded to his belief that "human beings were descended from apes."

It's not clear that the Disney film would touch upon these controversial themes, but if Darwin is, indeed, the subject of an action movie, it's most certainly poised to get a lot of attention from people on all sides of the debate.

Read more about Darwin's journey here.

This isn't the first time that Darwin has been the focus of a big-screen feature, as the 2009 movie "Creation" focused on him and his family as he wrote "On the Origin of Species," Variety reported. 

Distributors reportedly worried about how "Creation" would be received due to the debate over science and religion, leading to a limited release and poor box office performance.

(H/T: Deadline)

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