The selective pressure of magical thinking is strong. Oh wait.

Charles Darwin film 'too controversial for religious America'
Creation, starring Paul Bettany, details Darwin's "struggle between faith and reason" as he wrote On The Origin of Species. It depicts him as a man who loses faith in God following the death of his beloved 10-year-old daughter, Annie.

The film was chosen to open the Toronto Film Festival and has its British premiere on Sunday. It has been sold in almost every territory around the world, from Australia to Scandinavia.

However, US distributors have resolutely passed on a film which will prove hugely divisive in a country where, according to a Gallup poll conducted in February, only 39 per cent of Americans believe in the theory of evolution.

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29 Responses:

  1. supersat says:

    Time to start the jwz distribution company?

  2. bikerwalla says:

    Please, Mr. Film Mogul, let me give you my money. Please.

  3. tiff_seattle says:

    i wonder if we took the south out of the equation, would those poll numbers change drastically? i get the sense that peoples' attitudes really are wildly different in other parts of the country.

  4. phreddiva says:

    Jesus fucking Christ.
    To coin a phrase.

    • skreidle says:

      Technically, you only "coined" it if you were the first to use it, which you certainly ain't. :)

      • phreddiva says:

        Right... JWZ's blog means over-explaining for the pedants.

        Saying "____[insert common phrase here]___, to coin a phrase" is a common turn of phrase, with the acknowledgement within the phrase itself that the particular turn being used is already common. E.g. - "jesus fucking christ".

  5. ammonoid says:

    I haz a sad. And yet the distributed the Jesus Chainsaw Massacre and The Last Temptation of Christ. Of course those were about Jebus and not Darwin.

    • editer says:

      Last Temptation didn't get wide distribution because of Xian opposition; in Wichita, where I was living at the time, the local theaters refused to show it, probably because they were getting bomb threats.

      • ammonoid says:

        This film isn't even going to get a small distribution- even if The Last Temptation wasn't widely distributed it was at least distributed some. I was living in DC when The Last Temptation was released - it was shown, picketed, but shown.

  6. jng27 says:

    Not that surprising really. It was cool that Maher's movie actually got distribution. It would be great if more films like this one would to.

  7. loftwyr says:

    How about it's more likely divisive (like Last Temptation) but without the likelihood of making bags of cash. After all, a movie about Darwin is likely to be a fairly academic (read dull) movie.

    No amount of protests will get that movie to make bags of money in the states unless Darwin suddenly starts shooting people during a car chase through an exploding museum.

  8. phoenixredux says:

    39%? Seriously? We are fucked.

  9. misterjoel says:

    See, Billy? In this best of all possible worlds, capitalism does the censorship FOR you!

  10. obreerbo says:

    John Scalzi has a different view on this, and one that I think is probably closer to the truth.

    Summary: This movie isn't really going to be a big box-office draw anyhow, creationists or no creationists, so of course major distributors aren't going to be interested. But likely it'll find a distributor anyway, probably just in time for an Oscar-look LA/NY release in December and limited release on the West Coast and in the Northeast thereafter. The supposed "controversy" will only help matters here...and it'll wind up with at least one Oscar nomination; Scalzi says three, including Best Picture.

    • rapier1 says:

      Nothing like ginning up some fake controversy to sell something. If a major distributor thought they could make metric shit tons of cash on this film you know they'd be lining up to give it a go; subject matter be damned.

  11. jcurious says:

    The problem is that BBC films do not do good in US theaters. Last temptation of Christ and Religilous were far more controversial that this could be, yet they found distributors.