One day we will clone a woolly mammoth. A discovered gene that kept mammoths warm in their arctic habitat could be the answer to cloning the animal today. Although there have been other clones such as Dolly the Sheep, the clone of a woolly mammoth is especially spectacular because it is an extinct animal that no human has ever come in contact with before. While it is unsure when the cloning will take place, it is inevitable. As with a great deal of science, it is derived by the pursuit of science fiction. Perhaps geneticists will one day turn to Hollywood to inspire them in their pursuit of genetic cloning.
The Island is a 2005 drama thriller that was directed by Michael Bay. Starring Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johansson, the story follows two clones who escape from a research facility after learning their true fate consists of organ harvesting and surrogate motherhood. While critics and fans agreed that they film had good acting, they were concerned with the ethical issues that were presented but not explored. Since the area of cloning raises many ethical issues, a film about clothing should address these issues as best as possible.
1988’s Twins serves as a comedy against the drama or thriller genres that clone movies generally fall into. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito play fraternal twins who were an experiment carried out by the US government to create the perfect child. The embryo unexpectedly split and the twins were born but were separated shortly after and were not told of each other’s existence. While it was not favored by critics, a sequel was announced in 2013 that would feature both Schwarzenegger and DeVito back in their roles. While the original movie explored the idea of unexpected cloning, it is unknown what this sequel is to explore besides the fact that the twins have a long-lost third brother played by Eddie Murphy.
The Fifth Element
This 1997 film starring Bruce Willis and Milla Jovovich is about the end of the world in the year 2263. Jovovich’s character Leeloo is a clone of fifth element that needs to be combined with the other four to defeat evil and save the world. The Fifth Element was a box office success, earning $263 million. Kevin Thomas of the Los Angeles Times described the film as an “elaborate, even campy sci-fi extravaganza, which is nearly as hard to follow as last year's Mission Impossible.” Since then, the film has gone on to be a cult classic and spawned a book and video games.
This 1982 film is loosely based on Philip K. Dick’s book Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? and fully explores all the consequences of clones. Starring Harrison Ford as a Replicant Hunter named Rick Deckard that hunts down clones living among humans and destroys them. Blade Runner did not find too much success in the box office (mainly because E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial came out that same summer) but it did win BAFTA Awards for Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design and Best Production Design/Art Direction. Since then it has since become a cult classic, mainly because the film provokes deep questions about humanity such as questioning what traits make someone or something human.
The 6th Day
With plot twists and heart pounding action, Arnold Schwarzenegger stars as Adam Gibson in The 6th Day (2000), where he is illegally cloned and must fight to stop illegal cloning and take back his family from the clone and the deceitful cloning corporation. While cloning is a routine operation in the future setting of this film, cloning of humans is strictly prohibited under the “Sixth Day” law where only God can create humans, but Adam Gibson learns that it is not his clone he must fight against. Gibson’s DNA had been used by billionaire Michael Drucker after giving it to him in good faith. Now Gibson must fight against Drucker’s evil ways in order to protect himself, the mishandling of clones, and the Sixth Day law. Roger Ebert called it a serious action film and Arnold Schwarzenegger stars as his typical action hero self. This film is great for the lover of science-fiction and action thrillers.
Moon focuses on astronaut miner Sam Bell as he nears the end of a three year long mission mining Helium-3 on the dark side of the Moon. Sam Rockwell stars as Sam Bell, where he won several awards for best actor in a leading drama role, the lonely astronaut who has been serving Lunar Industries with limited contact from Earth and his wife, Tess. Kevin Spacey voices his lone companion on the far side of the Moon which is an automated artificial intelligence machine named GERTY. After a serious accident with his Moon rover, Same Bell wakes up in the lunar base then finds a clone of himself unconscious in the rover. Together they learn from GERTY that they are both clones of the original Sam Bell. This movie is filled with twists and suspense as Sam Bell must figure out the truth about Lunar Industries and who he really is. Director and writer Jones is in plans to create a novel titled, Mute, to serve as a sequel to his film, ultimately hoping to create a trilogy of films.
Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones
The second episode of the Star Wars saga, Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002), stars Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker as he learns to control the force as he trains to become a Jedi. Other stars, such as Natalie Portman, Ewan McGregor, and Samuel L. Jackson highlight the star filled cast that received rave reviews as the middle chapter in the Star Wars prequel trilogy. This film focuses on the journey of Obi-Wan Kenobi and his apprentice Anakin Skywalker as they investigate the source of the assassination attempt on now Senator Padmé Amidala. They then stumble upon a massive army of clones that the Republic has modeled after Jango Fett. This movie introduces the backstory of the fan favorite Boba Fett who is a clone of his father, Jango. This movie is filled with action, state of the art special effects, a compelling storyline, and serves as a prequel to the old Star Wars and the future Star Wars movie like Star Wars Episode VII, Episode VIII, Episode IX, and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, a Han Solo origin movie and rumors a Boba Fett movie.
Splice (2009) stars Academy Award winning actor Adrien Brody as genetic engineer Clive Nicoli as he and his significant other Elsa Kast, played by Sarah Polley, attempt to introduce human DNA into spliced animal DNA in order to create a human like clone designed to be used as a medical guinea pig. After creating two specimens named Fred and Ginger, Clive and Elsa’s employer N.E.R.D. (Nucleic Exchange Research and Development) forbid them from mating the two specimens and instead use them for commercial drug innovation. Clive and Elsa defy their company’s orders and mate the two specimens in secret. Fred and Ginger create an amphibious hybrid creature called Dren and Clive and Elsa must hide and raise the hybrid in secret while maintaining the illusion of scientific research for commercial drugs. Splice is an acclaimed film filled with a mixture of comedy, suspense, horror, and science-fiction perfect for fans of all genres.
Famous actor, director, and comedian Harold Ramis directs Multiplicity (1996) a film about a man who clones himself in attempts to accomplish everything he’s ever wanted to do but never had the time to do. After spending most of his time away from his family and instead working construction, Doug Kinney, played by Michael Keaton, meets a scientist who has perfected human cloning. Initially, Doug loves the idea of having a clone. But, when too many clones are produced and each one develops its own personality and free will, Doug becomes fed up with his clones’ actions and his wife Laura, played by Annie MacDowell, becomes concerned with her husband’s personality changes, unaware they are really clones. This romantic-comedy shows what the average joe would do with cloning technology and what he would do for love. Watch and laugh as Doug Kinney figures out a way to get back his house, job, and wife.
The fourth installment of the Alien film series is Alien Resurrection (1997). The story is set 200 years after the previous installment, Alien 3. It focuses on Ellen Ripley, reprised again by Sigourney Weaver, in her final hours of life. Before her death, DNA is extracted from her blood sample and a clone is created from her DNA and an Alien queen’s DNA. This clone has the genetic memory of Ripley’s past and physical appearance as well as the Alien’s enhance motor skills. As a group of mercenaries deliver a group of kidnapped humans in stasis to the military scientists to the same facility where Ripley’s clone is being kept, some of the alien offspring of her clone escape their enclosure. Ripley teams up with the mercenary crew in order to self-destruct the ship in order to protect Earth from the alien clones. This film is the most recent conclusion to the Alien saga.
Never Let Me Go
Never Let Me Go (2010) is the film adaption of the novel by the same name. The plot begins with an explanation that in 1952 a recent scientific breakthrough successfully extended life expectancy beyond 100 years. In the 1970’s, Kathy H. and her close friends Tommy D. and Ruth C. live at Hailsham, a boarding school. One of their teachers secretly informs the children that they have a predestined fate in which they will die in their early adulthood in order to become organ donors. The second act features the same children now in their teens living in seclusion when they learn that they are in fact clones. Tommy, portrayed by Andrew Garfield, and Ruth, acted out by Kiera Knightley, form a romantic relationship when they learn that if they are in love and can prove it will relieve them from their pre-destined fate. The film then features Tommy, Kathy, and Ruth ten years later where they must discover who they truly loved and how to cope with their fate as clones. This film is widely regarded as a top film from 2010 as it is filled with a unique story line, romance, and shocks.
Star Trek Nemesis
Star Trek Nemesis (2002) features the cast from Star Trek: The Next Generation onboard of the USS Enterprise-E. The crew is tasked with protecting the United Federation of Planets from a Reman clone of their own leader, Captain Picard. Shinzon is the new leader of the Romulan Imperial Senate following a military coup. The Federation learns that Shinzon is a clone of Captain Picard in order to establish a spy within the the Federation. Shinzon kidnaps Captain Picard because he needs his original blood to continue to survive. The crew of the Enterprise must rescue Captain Picard and save the United Federation of Planets from the Shinzon’s desire to destroy and rule the universe. The film also features Academy Award winning composer Jerry Goldsmith, who previously composed for a number of Star Trek films and television shows. This film is plays a key role in the Star Trek movie franchise as the final film feature the cast of The Next Generation.