Patrick Warburton (A Series of Unfortunate Events, Rules of Engagement) and John Rhys-Davies (Lord of the Rings trilogy, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade) have been tapped to star in Darwin in Malibu, a film adaptation based on the stage play by English playwright and director, Crispin Whittell. The pic hails from Oregon-based indie company Road’s End Films, which optioned the play and brought on Robert C. Bruce to write and direct the project.
Road’s End producers are Carey Fiock, Sterling Fiock, and Robert C. Bruce. Valerie J. Bruce of Long Pants Productions will also produce along with Warburton and Rhys-Davies. Production is scheduled to begin early this year.
Set in the present day, the plot imagines three 19th century luminaries — Charles Darwin, Thomas Huxley, and Bishop Samuel Wilberforce — coming together to continue the debate over Natural Selection versus Divine Plan while on a sun-swept patio in Malibu overlooking the Pacific.
Warburton will star as Huxley, a biologist who specialized in comparative anatomy, was a self-proclaimed agnostic who valued observation and data gathering in the pursuit of answers and became known as “Darwin’s bulldog” owing to his strong defense of Darwin’s methods and conclusions. Wilberforce (Rhys-Davies) on the other hand, was a Bishop in the Church of England and was known as one of the greatest public speakers and debaters of the day. To him, Darwin’s hypothesis that living things evolved by adapting to their environments was flawed because it did not properly address the presence of a higher power guiding such evolution.
Gary Saderup (Othello, Churchill) co-stars as Charles Darwin. Jeff Albelo will serve as an executive producer via his Quantum shingle.
Warburton is repped by UTA and 3 Arts Entertainment; Rhys-Davies by Jeff Goldberg Management; Whittell by Abrams Artist Agency.
Road’s End is repped by Bruns Brennan & Berry.