New Film About Darwin Finds U.S. Distributor

By Sean Cavanagh — September 25, 2009 1 min read
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“Creation,” a movie that focuses on Charles Darwin’s groundbreaking scientific work and his questions about religious faith, has found a U.S. distributor, after something of a wait.

The British-made film, which stars Paul Bettany as Darwin and Jennifer Connelly as his wife, Emma, will be distributed on this side of the pond by a company specializing in independent films, Newmarket. A story in the Hollywood Reporter has details. Landing a U.S. distributor potentially increases the biopic’s reach into many more theaters. Newmarket has been involved in several notable films, the Reporter says, including “Memento” and “The Passion of the Christ.” The film’s inability to find a U.S. distributor was lamented by scientists, and by the film’s own producer, Jeremy Thomas, who, according to the U.K.'s Telegraph, said he believed the delays were due to anticipated opposition from religious conservatives.

“It is unbelievable to us that this is still a really hot potato in America,” Thomas is quoted as saying. “There’s still a great belief that He made the world in six days. It’s quite difficult for we in the UK to imagine religion in America. We live in a country which is no longer so religious. But in the US, outside of New York and LA, religion rules.”

It looks as if filmmakers have cleared that hurdle now. In a statement, Newmarket officials said they were aware that the film might raise hackles about those who don’t accept evolutionary theory, but they felt that “Creation” was too good to pass up:

“We at Newmarket pride ourselves in getting behind important films that help open the door for discussion and conversation, as is the case with ‘Creation,’ said Newmarket’s Chris Ball. " While Darwin’s name has come to symbolize one side of a debate between the scientific and the theological, ‘Creation’ depicts the man as the debate in total, with both sides contending, sometimes violently, within him. In that sense, we believe that the film will appeal to people of faith and people of science."

Photo of Bettany, as Darwin, for the film “Creation.”

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Curriculum Matters blog.