Ben Stein, the former speechwriter for Richard Nixon who became famous for his cameo as a droning high-school teacher in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986), is starring in a new documentary called Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed — which, to judge from the film’s official website, will tackle Darwinian evolutionary theory and promote the so-called Intelligent Design theory.
The trailers play up the idea that Stein is a “rebel” and make heavy use of George Thorogood’s ‘Bad to the Bone’; the website also claims that “Big Science has expelled smart new ideas from the classroom.” (“Big Science”? Cute.) In addition, FilmStew.com says the film, which comes out in February 2008, is being promoted by Motive Entertainment, the firm that earned its rep selling The Passion of the Christ (2004) to the faith-based market.
Meanwhile, a recent documentary that presumably comes at this subject from the exact opposite point of view — Randy Olson’s Flock of Dodos: The Evolution-Intelligent Design Circus (2006) — is coming to DVD on September 11. I’ve got it in my queue.
AUG 25 UPDATE: Here’s the YouTube version of the trailer:
Click here if the video file above doesn’t play properly.
Denyse O’Leary at the Post-Darwinist blog adds the detail that this film will actually be released on February 12, which is Charles Darwin‘s birthday. Darwin was born in 1809, so if the filmmakers had waited an extra year, they could have released the film on his bicentennial. Maybe they’re saving it for the DVD release.
AUG 26 UPDATE: PZ Myers, a biologist and “godless liberal” who writes at the Pharyngula blog, says the filmmakers misrepresented themselves and/or their movie when they interviewed him.