Stanley then retreated into the woods, where he ... what's the polite way to say this? He went batshit f*****g insane.
And now, over 20 years later, Stanley is in the early stages of making another one. Not another general movie, but another Island Of Doctor Moreau. I have nothing against Richard Stanley. His movies Hardware and Dust Devil are pretty badass, and he seems like a really intelligent, creative guy based on his interviews. But this is not a big, inspirational comeback story. This is a reboot of not just a movie, but of an actual event. We've run out of specific films to remake, so now we're remaking history.
I'd be more inclined to rah-rah this project if Stanley had gone on to hone his craft with other big-budget films, but he has not. He went in an almost vengefully opposite route, as he did nothing for five years after he was kicked off the island, and then went on to mostly make documentaries and short films. The 1996 Island Of Doctor Moreau cost $40 million to make. How much is a 2017 Doctor Moreau going to cost? Probably more, considering that it's a story in which every character but three are lathered in masks and fantastical beast leathers.
But I'm still so, so down. Not because of the movie. Another Island Of Doctor Moreau sounds neat, but I've already seen three versions, which range from the 1932 classic to the glorious 1996 trash fire. I'm good on that concept. I just want to see a documentary about the second time Richard Stanley was given the exact same thing to work with. There is already a documentary called Lost Soul about the 1996 version, and I am begging the studios to not only let Richard Stanley do his thing, but also drop another film crew down behind him to capture every second of it.
Reality has already decided, against all odds, to give Richard Stanley another shot at making Doctor Moreau. But with that comes the slight chance that he will, once again, retreat into the woods to live with dingo puppies for two months because the panicking, angry studios have ripped it out of his hands. And that, above all things, is truly must-see.