Disney Is Making a Film About Charles Darwin From the Writer of ‘Traffic’

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Odd proclamation: Stephen Gaghan, the writer of Traffic and Syriana, is developing a movie — which he’ll be writing and directing — for Disney. Second odd proclamation: it’s about Charles Darwin. As Darwin famously developed theories of natural selection and evolution, he obviously hasn’t been popular among religious zealots and conflicted biology teachers, and Disney’s surprising decision could lead to some very funny protests whenever this film gets completed. But as for now, Disney has only entered the early stages of development on the film, and at this point, there’s little in the way of details to add, but for that a writer at Deadline was informed that it’ll be an adventure film, and speculated that it could concern the naturalist’s 5-year journey along the coast of South America starting in 1831.

While there, Darwin spent most of his time on land studying invertebrates while his ship, the HMS Beagle, sailed along the coast — until they reached Patagonia, where he found the fossils of extinct mammals, who’d ceased to exist, it seemed, without a catalyst like climate change. In the Galapagos, he discovered variations in mockingbirds from one island to the next. These observations would lead to the later seminal theories he’d develop from London, which would also ultimately lead aforementioned conflicted American bio teachers to implement an alternate, reactionary pseudoscientific form of science pedagogy that sounds like an HGTV show.

Prepare for an adventure — either within the film itself, or at least surrounding its creation.