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Fired Island of Dr. Moreau director might get a chance to direct a reboot

08.15.2017

1996's would-be blockbuster ISLAND OF DR. MOREAU is notorious as one of the most troubled productions in history. The first director, Richard Stanley, was fired just a few days into production (after over four years in pre-production) and replaced by veteran director John Frankenheimer. Then egomaniacal stars Marlon Brando and Val Kilmer made the set a living nightmare, with things like Brando demanding a little person be Moreau's pet, or Val Kilmer burning a crewmember with a cigarette. The film also isn't that good.

However, in 2014 a documentary about the hellish behind-the-scenes making of the film - titled LOST SOULS - was released, which took a deep look into what the vision of original director Richard Stanley would've been. Now, in an exclusive interview with Birth.Movies.Death, Stanley lays out his plans to finally make a new, reboot DR. MOREAU film. Here's what Stanley said about his plans:

At this stage, I can’t say exactly by who, and how long it will take, but the project does live again, largely thanks to David [director of LOST SOULS]. We’re currently scripting and designing the thing. It’s going to be an all-new screenplay and an all-new cast of beast-people; the original creatures are copyrighted by Warner Bros. [parent company of New Line, which produced and released the ’96 film]. I wasn’t particularly happy with them anyway. The final designs of the creatures in the Frankenheimer version were disappointing, and I think there’s huge room for improvement...That’s something I’ve been talking about with the project’s backers at some length,” he continues, “because that was also their concern, to reinvent the mousetrap in terms of the beast-people. This time around, they seem to understand the film a bit better, and realize that the creatures are the stars of the movie, not the humans. That was the essential mistake made in the New Line version. They didn’t realize just how much mileage they could get out of those characters if they actually foregrounded them.

He went on to talk about how the story will be presented:

would prefer it to be on TV rather than as a theatrical movie or movies, because a) we would have less interference from the studio, and b) we could have an R-level product. I believe that going for the multiplex, it would have its teeth pulled and its nails cut again [New Line’s Moreau was PG-13], and going to television, we could be pretty unrestrained in the way we approach the material. There are a lot of scenes I’ve always wanted to do, including those with the sexually charged dolphin people [laughs], that have fallen out along the way, which I would like to get back into it.

As someone who loves the idea of the original H.G. Wells story, and who thinks there's a worthwhile film to be made with modern prosthetics and CGI, I'm all for it! And if it gets made and sucks, at least Stanley can't blame Frankenheimer anymore.

So what about you Schmoes? You down for another tale of man's hubris and beast-creature sex scenes? Either way, sound off below!

Extra Tidbit: Reportedly Dr. Moreau wears an ice-bucket on his head because Marlon Brando was hot and refused to take it off, much to the chagrin of the director.

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