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Island Formation
When the filmmakers first embarked to "The Island,” they might have thought they were creating a futuristic, science fiction actioner about human cloning that bordered on the impossible. However, following recent revelations in the news, producer Walter F. Parkes only half-jokingly acknowledges, "It turns out we were making a contemporary thriller.”

In fact, reality is so quickly catching up with what was once unimaginable that the timeframe was moved up from the late 21st century in which screenwriter Caspian Tredwell-Owen had first set his story. 

Director/producer Michael Bay states, "We needed to bring it way back to, say, 20 years in the future. It's a much scarier premise if it's right around the corner, and it makes it much more accessible.”

Parkes adds, "We're living in a time when scientific advancements are happening at hyper-speed; it's a geometric progression, so the story became less astounding the further we pushed it into the future. Given the developments we've been hearing and reading about in the news, it's entirely conceivable that this could happen in 15 or 20 years or so. We're not saying it's going to happen to this degree…but it's technically possible.”

Caspian Tredwell-Owen asserts, "Human cloning is going to happen, it's inevitable. Someone is going to do it—legally or illegally—it is just a question of who does it first. Science is fueled by curiosity, but to a certain extent, it is also fueled by demand, and the demand is there. We can already grow human organs in bits and pieces outside of the body, but what if you could have a duplicate, an exact match, who could give you any organ or part of his body without any apparent ramifications?”

When the original screenplay for "The Island” was brought to the attention of producer Walter F. Parkes and executive producer Laurie MacDonald, they had already been trying to develop a very different story about human cloning. Parkes offers, "What immediately intrigued us about this script was that, instead of taking the perspective of a researcher or outside observer, ‘The Island' took the point of view of the clones themselves. That struck us as a great way to tell the story in a much more emotional and personal way, because on one level, this is about science gone awry, but it is also about seeing the world through these innocents' eyes.” "We felt strongly that the reveal had to happen through the eyes of our main character, Lincoln, because the audience would be so closely tied to him,” says screenwriter Alex Kurtzman. "Through Lincoln, they will know early in the first act that something feels wrong…and today's audiences are very savvy, so they will probably jump to the worst possible conclusion. But, that said, the revelation happening from Lincoln's point of view is stunning.”

His partner, screenwriter Roberto Orci, agrees. "Seeing it through his eyes is the reason it comes as a shock, even if you think you know. The first half hour or so of the movie commits itself to this other reality, and you might expect it to continue in a linear way and assume you know where it's going, but you don't. That was all Caspian, and it's brilliant because the audience shares in the discovery.”

The original screenplay first came to director Michael Bay on a very direct route, via DreamWorks principal Steven Spielberg. Bay recalls, "Steven called me up one night and said, ‘I am sending you a script; you have to read it tonight.' I didn't get it until about 11:00, and it was 140 pages long, but I read it in one sitting and finished it about 3:00 in the morning. I really liked it, and called later that morning and said, ‘I'll do it.'” Parkes says there were several reasons Michael Bay was the only director considered to helm "The Island.” "He has the focus, the drive, the creativity, the confidence, and the technical expertise to handle a production this size, so it was a p

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