Letter From the Writers of the Hit Film "The 6th Day"


The Writers of Arnold Schwarzenegger's hit film, The 6th Day, took time to write a letter to IES about their inspiration for the script:

We first conceived the idea of a man home one day to find that he has been replaced by a clone of himself (not an evil twin, but exactly him) back in 1995. At the time, Dolly the sheep had not yet happened. The emotional core of the story actually stemmed from what we believed to be a universal fear … that of being replaced (e.g., the assembly-line worker who is replaced by robotic automation or the aging manager who is replaced by the younger employee).

We had friends going through a divorce and remarriage, and we realized that it must be difficult to see your kids raised by another step-parent. We thought, "what if you came home one day and you had been replaced by yourself?" Since we didn't want to tell the "evil twin" story, we decided to make the clone good. We felt that this would also play into the universal fear … not only "what if I am replaced," but "what if I am replaced and that replacement is actually a nice person?" Or further; "what if that person is even better person than yourself?"

That's the genesis of the movie. It really wasn't about cloning per se, but cloning became the means to tell the story. We've always been interested in the Frankenstein story. We're attracted to disenfranchised heroes. We wanted to stay away from the "evil doctor" and make the scientist the good guy. We also wanted to make the monster a sympathetic like he is in Frankenstein. Therefore, we decided to tell the story through the monster's eyes, yet not let on that the hero is a "monster" until late in the movie. Of course, the story became all about cloning when we wrote it. We did a lot of research. We added the RePet thing to make the notion of cloning whole beings more accessible. The inevitable question arises, "Do cloned beings have a soul?" Years ago, people asked the same question about test-tube babies.

A central theme of the movie is, "is science evil?" We wouldn't have antibiotics without science. The line dividing science and nature is a blurry one. The bad guy in the movie, the evil industrialist Drucker, believes that science dominates nature. He wants to be God. In the end, Drucker learns he cannot control fate. The scientist Dr. Weir believes science IS nature since God made science. Just because something  has been created by science does it mean it isn't natural? In the end, however, through his dying wife, Dr. Weir realizes that science DOES have its boundaries. 

The main character; Adam Gibson, also illustrates this theme. He starts off old-fashioned. He hates RePets. He drive an antique car. He shaves with old-fashioned razors. By the end of the story, however, Adam realizes he is a product of science and therefore must learn to accept technology. He realizes that although science can be used for bad, not all science is bad. He gives Hank, his cloned cat to his daughter to show this.

Having said all that, we never portended to tell some important tale about bioethics. We merely wanted to write an entertaining movie. Again, thank you for your interest.


Marianne and Cormac Wibberley

Los Angeles, California