Matthew Lockyer (Co-writer)
“I loved history and science at school and read the lives of the medical pioneers avidly. In television drama-documentaries the canon of Ignatius Semmelwiez, Robert Koch, Louis
Pasteur, Edward Jenner, Joseph Lister and Alexander Fleming cropped up time and again, but the only mention of the discovery of insulin I came across was the grainy black and white photo of Banting and Best with Marjorie. When, as a medical student, I read that Banting and Macleod refused to appear together to accept the Nobel prize, and never spoke again, it reawakened another question that had always troubled me: who was taking the famous photograph? These two things eventually drove me to research and co-write the
Neil Fleming (Co-writer)
“I am a playwright, screenwriter and poet by profession with a lifelong interest in science and particularly medical science. Most of my writing seems to be about the exercise of power in human relationships and when Mathew approached me and asked if I would help him write the Banting-Macleod story—an extraordinary story about conflict and cooperation—it seemed a natural and fascinating fit. Alexander Fleming is no relation, incidentally; although Ian Fleming, author of the James Bond books, is.”
Alex Tweddle (Producer)
“I am always drawn to films that not only entertain, but also inform and give us a different perspective on life, society and even ourselves. This is why I became fascinated with the
script for Unspeakably Wonderful. The story it tells is of relevance far beyond its subject matter. In fact, its relevance draws comparisons to the Covid-19 pandemic, having much to say about how science is really done, how human ambition, rivalry, belief and conflict play a part in great scientific discoveries. But also how the chemistry and technology used to eventually synthesise insulin is directly connected to the approaches used in the vaccines for Covid-19 today.
As a result of the film, we would hope that people better appreciate how scientists are human and that emotions, good and bad, influence the science they perform. The role of inspiration and luck as a complement to method and logic is another theme; likewise war and illness—random thieves of young lives. Many people will not realise how comparatively recently insulin was isolated and that diabetes was a death sentence before the discovery.
There is clear commercial potential in the Unspeakably Wonderful project, particularly because 2022 is the centenary of insulin’s discovery. But beyond that, the objective is to make Unspeakably Wonderful a film of world-class quality, unusually imaginative, provocative and superior in its genre—a film that the public will appreciate and talk about, because they find it moving, gripping and above all, inspiring.”
We wish to thank:
The Yusuf and Farida Hamied Foundation
The Banting House National Historic Site of Canada for their support with the development of this project.