Gunpowder & Sky’s sci-fi label Dust is developing a modern take on the classic H.G. Wells novel The Island of Dr. Moreau. The series will be titled Moreau and will be written by Zack Stentz (X-Men: First Class, Thor, Rim Of The World, Jurassic World Camp Cretaceous, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles).
“The double helix wasn’t even a twinkle in Watson & Crick’s eye when H.G. Wells first wrote The Island of Dr. Moreau, but his 1896 novel proved astonishingly prescient about how unlocking the secrets of DNA would open the door to humanity playing God with the natural world in strange and frightening ways,” said Stentz. “And now, in the shadow of the CRISPR revolution, it felt like the perfect time to revisit Moreau and bring it into our own 21st Century world of transgenic animals, designer babies and other scientific advances Wells never could have dreamed of. I’m delighted to be working with Eric, Geoff & the Gunpowder & Sky team to welcome a whole new generation to the good doctor’s terrifying island.”
Moreau focuses on world-renowned scientist Dr. Jessica Moreau, whose pioneering work in genetic engineering catches the eye of a billionaire backer willing to stop at nothing to reach the next step of human evolution.
“Zack took a time-honored classic and brought it into the 21st century,” said Eric Bromberg, SVP, Gunpowder & Sky. “Together, we’re creating a story that’s scarily befitting of today’s world, filled with seemingly limitless, and oftentimes alarming, scientific advancements. Frankenstein and Doudna have nothing on Jessica Moreau.”
“This series gives us a chance to work with Zack, one of the most prolific writers in the business,” added Geoffrey James Clark, Executive Producer, Gunpowder & Sky. “We couldn’t have genetically engineered a better writer for this project and can’t wait to take sci-fi fans on a wild ride with Zack driving.”
Wells’ novel was originally published in 1896 and has since become a touchstone for the sci-fi genre, influencing various stories. The book has been adapted into various iterations including the 1977 film directed by Don Taylor and starring Burt Lancaster and Michael York. In 1996, Edward R. Pressman directed a version of the film starring Marlon Brando, Val Kilmer, David Thewlis, Fairuza Balk, and Ron Perlman. The latter was known for being a problematic production with the orginal director Richard Stanley dropping out, harsh weather conditions and difficulty with the cast. There were so many problems with the production that it was detailed in the documentary
Lost Soul: The Doomed Journey of Richard Stanley’s Island of Dr. Moreau.
Dust has a robust roster of projects on its slate. They announced that they are teaming with John Wick creator Derek Kolstad, John Davis (Predator), and Black Label Media (Sicario, La La Land) for Time Agent. In addition, they have partnered with Werner Herzog (Grizzly Man, Encounters at the End of the World) and his son, Rudolph Herzog (How to Fake a War, The Heist) to produce the docu Last Exit: Space. Gunpowder & Sky will also debut the docu UFC 1: Origins of the Octagon this fall.
Dust recently launched season three of its Dust podcast series, starring and executive produced by Emmy Award-nominated Corey Hawkins (Straight Outta Compton, 6 Underground) and co-stars Oscar-nominated Toni Collette (United States of Tara, Hereditary).
Stentz is repped by Circle of Confusion, which worked with Gunpowder & Sky to develop and produce feature films and series that are sourced from writers, directors and producers who have had their work released on Dust or Gunpowder & Sky’s horror brand Alter.