DiCaprio Producing ‘Island of Dr. Moreau’ Movie from ‘Hemlock Grove’ Writers

Published 2 years ago by

The Island of Lost Souls DiCaprio Producing Island of Dr. Moreau Movie from Hemlock Grove Writers

The Island of Dr. Moreau was a significant landmark in the history of both science fiction and horror, drawing on Frankensteinesque themes of body horror and human interference with nature. H.G. Wells’ classic story of a shipwrecked man who finds himself trapped on an island full of half-animal, half-human abominations created by an obsessed scientist has been adapted for the screen several times, first with the Bela Lugosi and Charles Laughton in Erle C. Kenton’s 1932 film The Island of Lost Souls, and most recently in a 1996 movie starring Marlon Brando and Val Kilmer, which was set in the crazy sci-fi future of… 2010.

Needless to say, it’s probably not too soon for an updated screen version of Wells’ story, especially since it’s such a downright creepy tale. Now it’s time to start pulling together dream casting from the current pool of acting stars, as Hollywood is taking another trip to the island.

Deadline reports that Django Unchained star Leonardo DiCaprio is producing a new adaptation of The Island of Dr. Moreau with his partner Jennifer Davisson Killoran, through their company Appian Way and a deal with Warner Bros. Hemlock Grove producer Michael Connolly is also attached to the project as a producer, and Hemlock Grove writers Lee Shipman and Brian McGreevy have been tapped to write the script.

One potential red flag is that the current plan is apparently to make The Island of Dr. Moreaua sci-fi film with a topical ecological message,” which could lead to the adaptation becoming a little preachy, but nonetheless fits in fairly well with the story’s themes. Note that the message is specifically ecological rather than environmental, which suggests that we’ll see the larger impact of taking an island’s wildlife, transforming them into half-humans and causing them to form their own pseudo-religion.

The cast of Hemlock Grove DiCaprio Producing Island of Dr. Moreau Movie from Hemlock Grove Writers

The journey from animal to man was recently the subject of sci-fi prequel Rise of the Planet of the Apes, which did a pretty fantastic job of telling the story of genetic interference from Caesar’s own perspective, and will continue the story of the early days of ape evolution in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. If another installment of the Apes franchise comes after that, it could well end up competing directly with The Island of Dr. Moreau.

It’s not yet known whether or not DiCaprio will choose to star in The Island of Dr. Moreau himself; generally speaking, he tends not to act in the films that he produces, but he is playing the lead in the Appian Way-produced Martin Scorsese crime drama The Wolf of Wall Street, so perhaps we’ll see him in the role of either Edward Prendick or even Moreau himself. Tell us who you would cast in this update of Wells’ story, and what you think of the talent attached and the details available so far, in the comments.


The Island of Dr. Moreau is still in the early stages of development, but we’ll keep you updated on any further news.

Source: Deadline

Follow H. Shaw-Williams on Twitter @HSW3K
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  1. The island : age of moreau

  2. Seriously though I loved the val kilmer one n an update of this story is welcome IMO…. I think Leo would be a terrific Dr .. It could even be a role of a lifetime for him.. Can’t wait for it

  3. I think a new take on Island of Dr Moreau would be great. I loved the Val Kilmer version but I think a darker, more modernized version could do wonders. Leo as the Dr? I can see that and it being just crazy good

    • The Val Kilmer/Brando version was a modernized version of the first two films.

  4. I’d like to see Miley Cyrus portrayed as an out-of-control orangutan who goes around presenting herself……

  5. Could care less!

  6. I wouldn’t mind a well-done rebot. I always loved the story in print form, and the movies were watchable for the most part. This was what old Sci-Fi/horror was made of!

  7. I’d be pretty interested in an updated version of ‘Dr. Moreau. Hopefully they get the right talent behind it. The Hemlock Grove writers isn’t exactly encouraging, judging by what I’ve heard about the show, but we’ll see. I’ll be optimistic about it. :)

  8. I’ve really enjoyed this story and is one of my favorite from the Victorian Era. This story has some great satire and dramatic irony about it that, if played right, it can be an excellent movie. I would support Leo as Moreau, but I think Jeff Goldblum would make an awesome Prendick. It’s Jurassic Park all over again, but with animal/human hybrids! I would pay for a ticket just to see Goldblum’s reaction to Moreau’s creatures.

  9. I just hope that it doesn’t suck , having the writers of hemlock doesn’t insill confidence . I gave hemlock a shot on netflix and was disappointed so i hope they get better writers for this .

  10. I haven’t seen it in a long time, but I liked the Val Kilmer / Brando version from the 90s, it definitely captivated me as a kid. Thought it was a cool story, hopefully Leo gives it a nice spin.

  11. I liked the one with Michael York.

  12. It would be cool to see the and ending where the creature get on a ship and end up in Traveling across the ocean reaching New York and as the ship door open you them creeping off the ship slipping into the shadows. Maybe not but I am stoked to see how this develops. I like seeing great original material updated but done the right way.

  13. Michael Fassbender
    Javier Bardem
    Gerard Depardeux

  14. All I say is keep it close to the book. Keep it in the age in which it’s written. BTW, I also think Gerard Depardieu would make a great Dr. Moreau. Just make his hair a bit greyer and you got a good physical description from the book.