X-Men: First Class Writer Developing Island of Dr. Moreau TV Series

Author H.G. Wells delivered fans a number of iconic sci-fi and horror stories, many of which are just as relevant today as they were over a century ago, with writer Zack Stentz turning to Wells' 1896 novel The Island of Dr. Moreau to develop into a new TV series. Stentz, who previously wrote X-Men: First Class and Thor, aims to modernize the original concept with the series, currently titled "Moreau," though it's currently unknown where the series will debut. This is only the latest in a long line of adaptations of the original novel, in addition to various parodies and imitators across all forms of pop culture.

“The double helix wasn’t even a twinkle in Watson & Crick’s eye when H.G. Wells first wrote The Island of Dr. Moreau, but his 1896 novel proved astonishingly prescient about how unlocking the secrets of DNA would open the door to humanity playing God with the natural world in strange and frightening ways,” Stentz shared in a statement. “And now, in the shadow of the CRISPR revolution, it felt like the perfect time to revisit Moreau and bring it into our own 21st Century world of transgenic animals, designer babies, and other scientific advances Wells never could have dreamed of. I’m delighted to be working with Eric [Bromberg], Geoff [James Clark], and the Gunpowder & Sky team to welcome a whole new generation to the good doctor’s terrifying island.”

Moreau focuses on world-renowned scientist Dr. Jessica Moreau, whose pioneering work in genetic engineering catches the eye of a billionaire backer willing to stop at nothing to reach the next step of human evolution.

“Zack took a time-honored classic and brought it into the 21st century,” Bromberg, SVP of Gunpowder & Sky, shared. “Together, we’re creating a story that’s scarily befitting of today’s world, filled with seemingly limitless, and oftentimes alarming, scientific advancements. Frankenstein and Doudna have nothing on Jessica Moreau.”

The novel previously inspired adaptations such as the 1932 film The Island of Lost Souls, The Twilight People in 1972, and 2004's Dr. Moreau's House of Pain, which was meant to be a sequel to the original novel. In 1996, The Island of Dr. Moreau landed in theaters, starring Marlon Brando, Val Kilmer, and David Thewlis. The film had a famously troubled production, which included a number of delays, rewrites, and original director Richard Stanley being replaced shortly into the production, only for him to return to the project weeks later by wearing a mask which allowed him to appear as one of the film's many monstrous extras.

“This series gives us a chance to work with Zack, one of the most prolific writers in the business,” Clark, Executive Producer at Gunpowder & Sky, noted. “We couldn’t have genetically engineered a better writer for this project and can’t wait to take sci-fi fans on a wild ride with Zack driving.”

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