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The Island Of Dr. Moreau screenwriter details what a "monster" Marlon Brando was on set

Photo: Brenda Chase / Getty Images

The documentary Lost Soul: The Doomed Journey Of Richard Stanley’s Island Of Dr. Moreau chronicled the colossal clusterfuck that was the 1996 film adaptation of The Island Of Dr. Moreau. The film follows the bizarre process and eventual firing of director Richard Stanley, the douchebaggery of Val Kilmer, the militant takeover of John Frankenheimer, and, most importantly, Marlon Brando’s kooky behavior, which included incessant improvising, costume demands, and a weird obsession with Nelson De La Rosa, “literally the smallest person who’s ever been measured by scientists.”

While the documentary frames Brando’s antics as shitty, lighthearted trolling, Ron Hutchinson, the film’s screenwriter, describes the legendary actor as a “monster” who was “hell-bent on sabotaging” the film. In a new profile in The Guardian in advance of his upcoming memoir, Hutchinson dishes on Brando’s on-set demeanor, providing a different, more apoplectic viewpoint than the documentary’s filmmakers as he outlines the actor’s many sins.


His best anecdote is also one not touched upon in the film: Brando’s love of pizza.

Brando was only answering the door when the pizza man came. This was the best news that the pizza-makers of Cairns, this small town, had ever had because Brando was consuming industrial quantities of pizza while ruminating on what the hell he was going to do when he had to face the cameras. I think there might have been an existential terror there.

If that’s true, lord knows Brando wouldn’t be the first person to confront their existential terror with pizza. He was probably just really hungry, though.

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About the author

Randall Colburn

Randall Colburn is The A.V. Club's Internet Culture Editor. He lives in Chicago, occasionally writes plays, and was a talking head in Best Worst Movie, the documentary about Troll 2.