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"Creation" Producer: Theory of Evolution Too Provocative for America?

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Who knows what Jeremy Thomas, the producer of Creation a film on Charles Darwin's life, has and has not done to find a distributor in the U.S. He may have not shopped around enough, but recent polls indicate that it certainly is possible that U.S. distributors are telling him Creation starring Paul Bettany and Jennifer Connolly is "too controversial for religious America."

Showbusiness editor for Telegraph in the UK reports that this film which details "Darwin's 'struggle between faith and reason' as he wrote On the Origin of Species" was chosen to open the Toronto Film Festival, had a British premiere less than a week ago, and has been "sold in almost every territory around the world" but cannot find distribution in the U.S. :

"Jeremy Thomas, the Oscar-winning producer of Creation, said he was astonished that such attitudes exist 150 years after On The Origin of Species was published.

"That's what we're up against. In 2009. It's amazing," he said.

"The film has no distributor in America. It has got a deal everywhere else in the world but in the US, and it's because of what the film is about. People have been saying this is the best film they've seen all year, yet nobody in the US has picked it up.

"It is unbelievable to us that this is still a really hot potato in America. There's still a great belief that He made the world in six days. It's quite difficult for we in the UK to imagine religion in America. We live in a country which is no longer so religious. But in the US, outside of New York and LA, religion rules."

Jeremy Thomas' filmography certainly makes it hard to believe the film isn't being released because of him. He won a Best Picture Academy Award for The Last Emperor.

It's much more likely that distributors are noting recent polls such as the Gallup poll released in February of this year that showed "only 39% accept the theory of evolution."

What's possible and not suggested by any of the British newspapers giving voice to the filmmakers struggling to gain U.S. distribution is that the recession in America is leading distributors to be ultraconservative in the projects they take chances on.

Despite reviews that have shown this film is very good, distributors may not want to risk losing money on something that doesn't come with a guaranteed audience like a sequel, remake, or a film based on a book would.

Still, it's largely unsettling that two hundred years after the birth of Charles Darwin and one hundred and fifty years after the publication of On the Origin of Species no distributor (not even the Weinsteins) are stepping forward to grab this up.

Gallup has been asking some form of this question for years now.

Which of the following statements comes closest to your views on the origin and development of human beings -- [ROTATE 1-3/3-1: 1) Human beings have developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life, but God guided this process, 2) Human beings have developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life, but God had no part in this process, 3) God created human beings pretty much in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years or so]?

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Kevin Gosztola is a writer and curator of Firedoglake's blog The Dissenter, a blog covering civil liberties in the age of technology. He is an editor for and a former intern and videographer for The Nation Magazine.And, he's the (more...)

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This is what happens when you undereducate America... by Scott Baker on Monday, Sep 14, 2009 at 11:36:18 AM
You reinforce the reason why I chose to write up a... by Kevin Gosztola on Monday, Sep 14, 2009 at 11:55:22 AM
pages is true, then they obviously have not read t... by Stanimal on Monday, Sep 14, 2009 at 5:17:42 PM
Darwin stated humans evolved from apelike beings, ... by Dave Kisor on Monday, Sep 14, 2009 at 7:55:38 PM
[[EEE!!!]]... by Allan Wayne on Monday, Sep 14, 2009 at 9:27:57 PM
Tis very strange. America finds distributors for a... by Don Smith on Monday, Sep 14, 2009 at 10:02:53 PM
Convert it to DVD and make an end run around the d... by Arthur M. Howard-(Scotoni) on Monday, Sep 14, 2009 at 10:04:14 PM
science fiction to me that a country that thinks o... by Archie on Monday, Sep 14, 2009 at 11:46:09 PM
Human Beings came down from the trees to inhabit h... by Jason Paz on Tuesday, Sep 15, 2009 at 7:51:07 AM