Ever since I went to the Museum of Natural History's Darwin exhibit earlier this year, I've been hoping for a film about the pioneer of evolution theory. My main interest is actually in Darwin's marriage to his cousin, his ten children with her, and his subsequent ideas about the ill effects of in-breeding, but I'll be happy with the story of the voyages of the HMS Beagle, the ship that took Darwin on his scientific travels. And that is the story I'll be getting thanks to a planned adaptation of Peter Nichols' novel Evolution's Captain: The Dark Fate of the Man Who Sailed Charles Darwin Around the World.

Chase Palmer, who is on the rise as a hot new helmer of historical fictions, has been tapped to write the screenplay and to direct the film, which will be titled simply Evolution's Captain (this makes sense since different versions of the book have different subtitles). Though the book concentrates on the life of the Beagle's commander, Robert FitzRoy, the film will likely focus more on the captain's relationship with Charles Darwin. Fitzroy, who was nicknamed "Hot Coffee" due to his violent temper, famously disagreed with Darwin on the topic of man's origins, and their arguments should make for a nice parallel to the current creation vs. evolution debates. In addition to being topical, though, it should also be intriguing in a way similar to the better parts of Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, which feature Paul Bettany's character conducting some pre-Darwin studies of South American flora and fauna.

Production on this film will probably begin once Palmer's debut, Number 13, is finished. Since that film isn't scheduled to begin until February, though, it will probably be some time before we get to see any actors donning Darwin's distinguishably long facial hair.

More on Palmer's projects:

When You Think of Hitch, Think Fogler

Kingsley Counts to Number Thirteen
categories Movies, Cinematical