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"The Island of Dr. Moreau," H.G. Wells's sci-fi/horror classic, which was originally written as an anti-vivisectionist tract by the notoriously animal rights-prone Wells, has been memorably adapted a number of times. Now, Leonardo DiCaprio (through his Appian Way partners) and Warner Bros. are teaming up to add their own version to the mix.
The producers have hired Lee Shipman and Brian McGreevy, who are responsible for the Emmy-nominated Netflix horror series "Hemlock Grove," to pen the screenplay, which Deadline reports will be "a contemporary re-imagining" -- one "with a topical ecological message."
Wells's story concerns a man marooned on an island ruled over by Dr. Moreau, who has been creating fiendish human/animal hybrids that serve as a direct affront to God's will. Things go from bad to worse for the survivor, as he uncovers the depths of Moreau's depravity.
The best "Island of Dr. Moreau" adaptation is probably the nightmarish 1932 black-and-white chiller "Island of Lost Souls" (recently given the deluxe Criterion treatment), and the most infamous has to be 1996's "Island of Dr. Moreau," which features Marlon Brando wearing an ice bucket on his head for entire stretches of the film.
The question remains: Will this next film prove to be a successful adaptation, along the lines of "Island of Lost Souls" or the somewhat enjoyable 1977 Burt Lancaster version, or will it be an unmitigated disaster like the Brando-wearing-a-bucket fiasco?