Posted in Derren's Posts

Posted by Derren Brown September 27, 2009 at 6:05 pm

The Middle Ages are still with us. A new bio-pic of Darwin, called Creation, has failed to find a US distributor because of worries that it will be too controversial for American audiences. Let’s hope whiffs of said controversy put heat around the film and get it the exposure it might sorely need out there. Oh deary me.

September 27, 2009 at 6:08 pm

This advertised the other day on Television, I think it looks good 🙂

September 27, 2009 at 6:08 pm
Julie says:

Newmarket picked it up on Thursday, it will be released in the U.S. in time for Christmas.

September 27, 2009 at 6:09 pm
Charles says:

Hi – this is slightly out of date, as Creation does now have a US distributor – Newmarket.

September 27, 2009 at 6:09 pm
Zoeyy says:

What? -sigh- I dont understand why Americans, or anyone for that matter, get so bothered about evolution or worry about the offence it may cause. People need to be a bit more open minded. 🙁

September 27, 2009 at 6:11 pm
Dimothyxx says:

It looks like a really cool film. I’d pay good money to go see that. Shame companies won’t distribute it. It won’t change people’s beliefs, it’ll just be re-iterating what they’ve already heard. If they chose not to believe it, then so be it, if they chose to believe it, then so be that. I’d go and see it. I believe in the Origin of species, but I also believe that there is a God. 🙂

September 27, 2009 at 6:11 pm
Diane Brown says:

Only in America ! xx

September 27, 2009 at 6:15 pm
nordie says:

America – where they can get upset over Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction” whilst being the biggest producers , and consumers, of porn on the planet.

September 27, 2009 at 6:16 pm
Hannah Derbyshire says:

Fantastic news about Newmarket. It’s so sad that people are so afraid to offend.

September 27, 2009 at 6:20 pm
Vikky says:

wow, looks amazing 🙂
Americans wind me up so much ¬_¬

September 27, 2009 at 6:22 pm
Matthew T says:

The American’s should be more open minded!! But not too open minded otherwise you’ll be able to manipulate then even easier! haha
But yeah, if people don’t want to watch it, don’t watch it, they do want to, let them!

What has this world come to…

September 27, 2009 at 6:23 pm
Aoife says:

I have a worrying feeling that there will be quite a hubbub over it in Ireland aswell.

The religious/Catholic influence is still pretty strong here ,and some people will not be able to open up to this…

September 27, 2009 at 6:25 pm
emma doran says:

Im already looking forward to seeing this film as i also am to go and see the soloist:) sorry i ant said much kind of in a rush take care all,em

September 27, 2009 at 6:26 pm
Martin says:

…Perfect time for criticism, especially just as the “revised” version of the origin of species being given out for free by the banana man

September 27, 2009 at 6:29 pm
Pippa says:

wow, film looks great, it would be such a shame not to let people see it to let them make up their own mind. We’re all here with free choice after all.

September 27, 2009 at 6:30 pm
roz says:

newmarket also distributed “the passion of the christ”. guess they believe in equal time!

September 27, 2009 at 6:31 pm
mark b says:

i dont think the film should be released, it is anti christian. If we christians have to respect evolution theory nuts, then they should give us the same respect.

September 27, 2009 at 6:34 pm
Brian New says:

For some reason (could be entirely unfounded) I fear that this film will do more damage than good for evolution’s status.

It just looks to be in the wrong spirit.

Obviously, very much hope I’m wrong 🙂

September 27, 2009 at 6:37 pm
emi says:

I read about this on Digg… Something like The Passion of the Christ or the Nazi’s isn’t controversial, but a story about Darwin is? I just don’t get American logic… 🙁

September 27, 2009 at 6:37 pm
Vinny says:

Looks good a film, i believe in the your born , you live then die and thats it theory just like it is for all the other animals. God and heaven are just a comfort blanket for people …evolution is in my mind the way life on earth happened but when you lose loved ones its hard to deal with and believing in heaven can help.

September 27, 2009 at 6:39 pm

I’ve seen trailers for this too and it does look a good film. Sadly we appear to live in a world where we tiptoe around people too much for fear of offending. In certain circumstances it’s the right thing to do, but not when the said circumstance could open your eyes and perhaps re-educate your mind.

I love watching any film or TV programme where I learn something different. Whether it be something I didn’t know beforehand or something where I’ve just had my thoughts on a particular subject sort of readjusted.

I’m glad Creation now has a distributor in the US. I remember the furore when ‘Passion of the Christ’ first opened. Some cinemas/countries refused to show it. Didn’t stop it grossing millions though.

LC x

September 27, 2009 at 6:45 pm
chris says:

*sigh* My poor misguided people… and folks wonder why I periodically consider settling down on another continent. :/

September 27, 2009 at 6:55 pm
Joe says:

Wasn’t this whole ‘America’s scared of evolution’ thing, just a ploy by the producer to get a deal?

There’s nothing like building up a bit of fake controversy to get what you want. 🙂

September 27, 2009 at 6:56 pm
Fernando says:

@Mark B – Do as you would be done by.

As an atheist I welcome a film about evolution. But that doesn’t mean I shun any religious film. Charlton Heston in The Ten Commandments anyone? Awesome film.

Any religious based opposition to this film sadly is what gives religion a bad name IMHO.

September 27, 2009 at 6:59 pm
Q says:

It comes as no surprise. We’re talking about a country lacking intelligence so badly their comedies are dubbed with canned laughter so the population know when to laugh.
You didn’t get this in Spike Milligan’s day. Monty Python never felt the need to dub phony laughs yet every American comedy does.
A country living so much in fear of being sued everyone is ridiculously careful not to offend so nobody dares to speak their mind.

September 27, 2009 at 7:04 pm
li says:

i am very much looking forward to this to say the least, and cannot beleive paul bettany is playing a serious part… maybe thats what america couldn’t handle.

September 27, 2009 at 7:10 pm
Kelsey says:

Sorry, is America just shunning everything that actually happened? First it was Sarah Palin saying dinosaurs didn’t exist, now this *sigh*

(Sorry if I caused any offence, not my intended motive 🙂 )

September 27, 2009 at 7:14 pm
Fede says:

last weekend the entire area around the old vic, where we live, was shut down because of ‘threats’ to the Old Vic where Kevin Spacey’s play is on – about …Darwin’s theories!

September 27, 2009 at 7:15 pm
troy williams says:

its the hype of controversy and limitation that both spurs the argument for it’s ‘banning’ and the need for people to watch it. This will also effect how good a film people perceive it as knowing they have chosen to watch something that initially may not have been released, thus slightly changing how they view themselves and positive promoters of the film.

September 27, 2009 at 7:29 pm
Hannah Derbyshire says:

There’s a documentary on channel 4 at the moment (go on – you might just catch the end!) by Dawkins on Darwin – very good. I’m sure it’ll be on 4OD.

September 27, 2009 at 7:33 pm
Dan says:

When is the developed world, apparently the US specifically not included, going to grow a pair and tell these morons that they can think what they like but it’s not going to make any difference to the lives of rational, thinking people?

September 27, 2009 at 7:40 pm
Rob Webley says:

The religious, be they in America, Ireland, Iraq, Afghanistan or wherever, should be MADE to watch the film, preferably on a triple bill with Derren Brown’s Messiah and Religulous.

September 27, 2009 at 7:42 pm
it looks like Newmarket films are up for it now 🙂

September 27, 2009 at 7:42 pm
Emma says:

I saw this last night and thought the performances were excellent. Definitely worth seeing.
I honestly don’t ‘get’ the attitude of the American religious right to evolution and Darwin. It just seems so plain obvious to me that it should be possible to see Genesis as allegorical and that Darwin’s theory can be combined with ‘Faith’ if that’s what floats someone’s boat.
Do all these Americans get in a tizzy if someone outrageously describes rainbows as spectrums of light caused by droplets of moisture in the atmosphere?
And if the bible is literally true why aren’t the creationists living the lives of Orthodox jews?

September 27, 2009 at 7:51 pm
Jess xxx says:

How can there be any controversy about Darwin’s life? The film is about his life, isn’t it? Not about religious debate? Why should American audiences have a problem with it?

I think it looks like a good film; I’m going to see it.

September 27, 2009 at 7:52 pm
Gewitternacht says:

I take everything back I said about the number of creationists out there being rather insignificant. I had no idea!

September 27, 2009 at 8:02 pm
ciara says:

“I have a worrying feeling that there will be quite a hubbub over it in Ireland as well.
The religious/Catholic influence is still pretty strong here ,and some people will not be able to open up to this…”

Sorry, couldn’t let that one go, as far as I know, creationism isn’t on the curriculum for any educational establishment here. Darwin rules for pretty much anyone in science or education. However, oop north ’tis a different matter though:

September 27, 2009 at 8:12 pm
Chris B says:

Mark B,

What exactly makes this film anti-Christian?

The THEORY of evolution has never been proved. However, there is considerable evidence that it is accurate.

Charles Darwin was a great man for realising that there was another way that life as we know it came to be here today, instead of a god making everything in 7 days, 4-5000 years ago.

September 27, 2009 at 8:42 pm
Eric Schmitt says:

This is not typical of the Americans I know. I believe in evolution, and most of my friends do too. America is not the only country filled with christians, who don’t believe in evolution.
We are however run by the media, and entertainment. To be even more precise, we are run by the entertainment media. Yes this is sad, but before people from other countries say a word, go ahead and google “films banned in” whatever country you are from. I think you will be surprised.

September 27, 2009 at 8:43 pm
Eric Schmitt says:

Further investigation reveals that the film does, now, have a distributer in America, Newmarket films. Maybe this is a direct result of the controversy, but the mere fact that there is a controversy means that we don’t all think alike.
God may be dead, but so is Darwin.
Let’s keep talking people.
Let’s keep talking AS people. Not countries.
Long live controversy.

September 27, 2009 at 8:51 pm
Matt says:

It’s not about the content of the film. It’s just extremely difficult to penetrate the theatrical distribution market.

The American theatrical distribution channels are a *very* competitive market. Thousands of producers try to get a deal in place every year but fail to do so.

It’s very expensive to roll out a theatrical release — even in a small number of theaters. All that matters to a distributor is how much of a profit they can expect (if any), and whether they’ll make more money than what they’re already planning to offer. It’s especially difficult for films like these, where there are no big-name actors to draw an automatic audience. I’m sure the publicity surrounding the “censorship” of this film helped its case.

– This is possibly the case but the film has had no trouble elsewhere in the world finding a distributor and Jennifer Connelly did win an Oscar, Bafta and Golden Globe just for Requiem for a Dream – and she’s married to Paul Bettany – bit of a diss there. 😉 – Phillis

September 27, 2009 at 8:59 pm
roz says:

hey guys? remember, it’s a freeeee country–we fought (& won) a revolution fer that! 🙂

September 27, 2009 at 9:01 pm
stephen says:

in my opinion if the passion of christ can be shown in america after an old woman has a heart attack watching it then there is no reason WHATSOEVER not to show the film. america as a nation in my opinion is very intolerant of any other religions or beliefs other than christianity or catholicism, im not calling them racist but come on not allowing a film to be shown that depicts the trials of darwin after discovering evolution is rediculous. i have seen americans verbally abuse people who believe in creationism and its redicilous. for one i cannot wait to see the film which will probobaly be one of the best this year or at least in close contention

September 27, 2009 at 9:10 pm
Ian says:

Hang on a sec here! Why is it that films like Jurassic Park etc (films about Dinosaurs) can be distributed in America and make huge profits?

I don’t seem to remember dinosaurs being mentioned in the Bible, do you?

If god made the world in 7 days how does that explain Dinosaurs?

Clearly if they weren’t mentioned in the Bible, doesn’t that make them blasphemous?

Why is it that in this day and age we keep hearing about Darwin being anti Christian when clearly if there was a God controlling all creation he seems to have rushed certain parts of the job.

I’m talking about murderers, paedophiles, rapists, dictators, anti semitism, genocide, disease, famine, earthquakes (I could go on).

God is making a real hash of the job isn’t he? Maybe its because he works in mysterious ways his wonders

September 27, 2009 at 9:15 pm
scentless says:

The reason this film is contraversial is because evolution is an athiest theory-unproven and basically a rival “religion” in its own right.It is theology that is counter to any god based theology,as an earlier poster correctly stated- “you are born,you live,you die” there is no room for god in darwin`s theory..

– Evolution is actually what’s know and “proven scientific fact” which means other sciences rely on the facts in order to operate and conjoin. Many religious scientists believe in it, ask Francis Collins. It is not an “atheist theory”. – Phillis

September 27, 2009 at 9:16 pm
Lisa says:

Oh, this film looks wonderful! I’m so glad Newmarket is going to distribute it here in the US. I will definitely watch. Thanks for the heads up!

Thanks also to Eric for reminding everybody to communicate as people, not as countries. Not every American is as stupid as some of you might think. Many are, to be sure. But not all.

That said…when can we see DB’s Events here?!? Grrr…..

September 27, 2009 at 9:46 pm
Ken says:

You got to love the americans, you can kill,rape brutaly murder sone1 on tv, but tell them you come from a monkey and its WoHHHHAaaa that a bit to far dont you think lol

September 27, 2009 at 9:52 pm
Gemma says:

Why are americans offended?? they watch programs on the nazis….surley thats more offensive than creation….

September 27, 2009 at 9:59 pm
rey says:

oh for goodness’ sake. when will people start treating films as what they really are for – entertainment?

September 27, 2009 at 10:00 pm
Achim says:

I’m confused – why is John Nash’s imaginary friend now going out with his wife? Ugh, it gets confusing when the same actress always plays geniuses’ wives..!

September 27, 2009 at 10:13 pm
Harriet M says:

Fantastic film, lucky enough to live in Malvern where it premiered. I really hope they reconsider. 🙁

September 27, 2009 at 10:15 pm
Sylwia says:

I’ll definitely go to see this movie. The trailer looks promising and the cast is just great.
I’m really surprised that anyone could consider it as too controversial for Americans…maybe it was just marketing- controversy sells. If not, I just find it strange.
I wonder what the reactions will be here, in Poland, where more than 90 % of people are catholic. Last month we had lots of protests and discussions before the Madonna’s concert :/ so I’m really courius how some fanatics will react when they hear about the movie with a phrase “(…) God doesn’t exist” in it….

September 27, 2009 at 10:27 pm
JayKay says:

Just been to see Inherit the Wind at the Old Vic tonight and it was written in the 50s based on a true story in the 20s, when a school teacher was put on trial for talking about Darwinism to his pupils. Kevin Spacey and David Troughton were both amazing (Spacey’s like Derren, you immediately feel safe and he has what I call a twinkle – nothing rude, mind), but acting aside, it was a reminder of the breath-taking, jaw-dropping delusion which can still exist. Then, there wasn’t the communication network and the TV and the web and the science – what the Hell is reason for it still continuing in our time?! Be spiritual, be good, but don’t tell me some old prophet managed to halt the sun a few thousand years ago and we’re around to read about it in some book.

September 27, 2009 at 10:42 pm
JayKay says:

And who would miss the chance to dribble over Paul Bettany anyway – even with the shaven forehead look. Why do I always go for red-headed men?

September 27, 2009 at 11:06 pm
MacDaddy says:

I wonder what the Founding Fathers would think of such religious intolerance. Wasn’t America supposed to be a light in the darkness for free thought and tolerance?

September 27, 2009 at 11:23 pm
Sue says:

I’m really looking forward to this film, seen the trailer a few times and looks like it will be an interesting film.

[…] Here is the original post:  New Darwin film shunned by America « Derren Brown Blog […]

September 28, 2009 at 7:14 am
cg says:

@Eric Schmitt–Your comments are most intelligent. Thanks.

While there is some very good evidence for evolution, sorry, it’s not ‘proven’, as the only ‘science’ that has ‘proofs’ is mathematics. ‘Evolution’ itself is still evolving as a theory. To believe that Darwin got everything right a hundred-something years ago is just short-sighted.
Not all Americans are rabid Christians, though obviously a diverse, ‘free’ country of 300 million+ people will statistically have some loud loonies. Just for the record, the THEORY of evolution was covered quite well in my high school biology class. Religion wasn’t covered at all, in any class.
The comments on this subject are disappointing in the main. Guess we just haven’t evolved past nationalistic prejudice no matter where we live. Pity, that.

September 28, 2009 at 7:18 am
cg says:

Funny too how there can be rabid ‘non-believers’ as well as rabid ‘believers’. Think about it–really. Their behaviour is awfully similar when you look closely.

And for the record, I’m not a ‘Christian’. And I wouldn’t mind seeing the film. Glad Newmarket picked it up and I’ll have the chance.

September 28, 2009 at 9:25 am
DTL says:

The Middle Ages? No, they were actually quite into scientific inquiry then. This reeks more of the Renaissance, when the Catholic church banned the publications of Galileo’s works.

September 28, 2009 at 9:50 am
karon gleave says:

i think a film like this is needed,there is so much proof around us telling us that we evolved, fossils dating back millions of yrs etc. Why are so many people so quick to believe in the bible & god, it’s mere heresay, an idea which is so far fetched it’s ridiculous! The jubeo-christian god evolved as a construct, a political effort to accumulate church power and crush the followers of older, established religions by making the new god more powerful, intrusive, more petulant and more irrational than any previous god or goddess. Bits were taken from other religions and combined into the god people blindly follow today. The story of Christ is a slip shod retelling of the Mithras & Osiris legends grafted to the clumsy attempt of an aggressive rabbi to be crowned king of Israel!!

September 28, 2009 at 10:11 am
helen says:

1 knowledge is perception
2 man is the measure of all things
3 everything is in a state of flux

September 28, 2009 at 10:17 am
helen says:

actually plato thought that the world already existed and that the creator came across it , thought it was a bit rubbish and tried to fix it. maybe we should take that further. the creator realised he couldn’t fix it and went off in a divine huff lol

September 28, 2009 at 12:11 pm
helen says:


Treat the other man’s faith gently; it is all he has to believe with. His mind was created for his own thoughts, not yours or mine
Henry S. Haskins


You have to lead people gently toward what they already know is right.
Phil Crosby

September 28, 2009 at 1:30 pm
charsx3 says:

well said ken.
is is ridiculous… and i think america needs to get over the fact that evolution is *not* a theory but is, in fact, FACT.

September 28, 2009 at 1:40 pm
JayKay says:

@helen – 2 man is the measure of all things – in his own mind maybe…

September 28, 2009 at 1:59 pm
JayKay says:

I’ve just watched the trailer (Forgot to last night) and it looks a beautiful film. What an amazing man and an amazing family. And, oh, Benedict Cumberbatch too. Fab. I know what my next Orange Wednesday will be…

September 28, 2009 at 2:11 pm

You know, we could all be taking this totally the wrong way…

The film struggled to get a distributor in the US, but it’s perfectly possible that any British made Victorian bio-pic about a famous Englishman would struggle just the same over there.

Saying that, save me a space on the “quit teaching kids creationism like it’s real science” bandwagon. Window seat if possible.

September 28, 2009 at 2:17 pm
Mike says:

Sometimes I think America and Iran are made for each other.

September 28, 2009 at 3:41 pm

So…a film about Darwin gets shunned yet America freely funds films like Borat/Bruno.

Now I’m a big fan of Borat/Bruno, but they have content in that is FAR more detrimental than f*cking SCIENCE surely?!

“Shapeshifting Jews” for starters!

September 28, 2009 at 4:16 pm
helen says:


@helen – 2 man is the measure of all things – in his own mind maybe…

that was the point. i think anyways sometimes its difficult with plato. lol

September 28, 2009 at 4:19 pm
KatM says:

America is not the only place to be shunning this film. None of the large multiplexes within reasonable distance of my home in SW England are screening it. Only the arthouse cinema in Exeter is doing so. Not exactly the wide distribution that such a film deserves, if only for the critically acclaimed acting performances and cinematography.

September 28, 2009 at 4:57 pm


September 28, 2009 at 5:08 pm
Ashish says:

I suppose they have produced some more ignorant comments like “if evolution is real then why isn’t there a half elephant and half kangaroo?”.

At least it will be embraced here in the UK, after all the the truth is the truth. Right?.

September 28, 2009 at 5:45 pm
Jess xxx says:

God made the world in seven days…On the fourth day he created the sun and the moon…the actual things needed for measuring a day.


September 28, 2009 at 5:59 pm
alyssa says:

well other than the fact that it looks boring, I dont see how evolution takes god out of the equation..

They say he works in mysterious ways, so he uses science to do things. He doesnt use magic

I think man just confused the whole situation, he never actually said we came from apes.

All he is saying is that species have the abilitly to adapt to their surroundings, because with out it they would die.

God has given us a survival mechanism and we just decide to call it evelution.

September 28, 2009 at 9:04 pm
JayKay says:

@helen – Aha! Ta.

September 29, 2009 at 12:17 am
Eric Schmitt says:

“Half of British adults do not believe in evolution, with at least 22% preferring the theories of creationism or intelligent design to explain how the world came about, according to a survey.

The poll found that 25% of Britons believe Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution is “definitely true”, with another quarter saying it is “probably true”. Half of the 2,060 people questioned were either strongly opposed to the theory or confused about it.

The Rescuing Darwin survey, published to coincide with the 200th anniversary of Darwin’s birth and the 150th anniversary of the publication of On the Origin of ­Species, found that around 10% of people chose young Earth creationism – the belief that God created the world sometime in the last 10,000 years – over evolution.” -News Blaze website

September 29, 2009 at 12:19 am
Eric Schmitt says:

Ps. I do not believe in creationism.

September 29, 2009 at 7:57 pm
Beth Woodward says:

I don’t even see why it could offend audiences, it barely references evolution whatsoever. Its the framework to the film, but its not like.. heres some bones, this is evolution, THERE IS NO GOD. Its more about family and a little about Darwin’s crisis of faith.

And Paul Bettany makes it completely OK to fancy Darwin. But you’ll have to fight Dawkins for his affection.

September 30, 2009 at 8:32 pm
Stace Jacques says:

Grrr… Evolution is absolute scientific fact, i don’t understand how people still believe in Creation. Like, i’m okay with people using religion as a crutch; life is hard, human psychology is fragile, it gets them through the tough times… but not when you start living your life by what a lonely old priest has interpreted.

Bahaha. I sound like a closed minded hater….not actually true.

BUT, ♥ Richard Dawkins. AKA. Dr. Girly Voice.

October 3, 2009 at 12:44 pm
Justin Morgan says:

There is still an ongoing conflict going on in America between Religion and Darwinism. And the biggest problem the world has is the theorie of creatinism is still young compared to Religions many thousands of years of taking hold.

Maybe the film should be watched before comment is passed, much like that infamous debate between the Python team and the religious zealots when Life of Brian was released.

October 8, 2009 at 1:13 pm
Hannah Derbyshire says:

I saw this film last night – fantastic. Go and see it! The whole thing is just really well done and has a good tone to it.