Hollywood loves dueling biopics -- Columbus, Capote, Amy Fisher; if there's more than one source to mine from, there's more than one movie to be made. The latest figure to get head-to-head films is Charles Darwin. Though I haven't heard anything more on Chase Palmer's take, titled Evolution's Captain, since I wrote about it last November, it is supposed to be released some time in 2009. If that remains true, it will have some company, because Oscar-winning producer Jeremy Thomas is also planning to deliver a Darwin film the same year (the bicentennial of the naturalist's birth).
Thomas' version will be based on "Annie's Box" (aka "Darwin, His Daughter and Human Evolution"), a bio written by Darwin's descendant Randal Keynes. While Palmer's film should deal more with Darwin's scientific explorations, this one will be centered more on the naturalist's home life, particularly with the death of his daughter Annie, which he blamed on inbreeding (Darwin married his first cousin). The adaptation is being written by John Collee, who I had actually thought would be appropriate for Palmer's film, and will be directed by Jon Amiel. A good guess is that Keynes' son Skandar, who acts in the Narniafilms, will get a part as one of Darwin's kids (he had 10).