Hooray, they're actually doing it -- they're making a big fancy movie about Darwin's life!
It's scheduled to be released sometime in 2009 to coincide with Darwin's birthday year, and stars Paul Bettany as Darwin and Jennifer Connolly as his wife/cousin/true love/deeply religious nuisance. You might remember this couple from "A Beautiful Mind," where they met on set and later married. Ah, Hollywood gossip, the best kind.
It's a UK production. I only hope it will come across the pond and be shown widely here. Or maybe the US distribution companies will shy away, just like the toy companies. Well, the distribution and box office of this movie will be interesting to follow, anyway. Must start reading Variety....
And here's my one gripe. The movie focuses on Darwin's ideas about God and how they affected his family relationships. This is terrific, deep, character-driven territory. But I wish it were instead about the voyage of the Beagle. That story also covers terrific, deep, character-driven territory AND it has raucous adventure, vast natural landscapes, boistrous sailors and soldiers, a fiery ship's captain, visits with native Queens, three people who had been kidnapped from Tierra del Fuego and were "civilized" in England, and oh man, so much more. What a story.