More than a decade before Stephen K. Bannon became one of President Donald Trump’s closest White House aides, he tried to make an epic documentary-style film about the eugenics movement, Adolf Hitler, “blood purity,” abortion, contraception, Darwinism, mutants, and cloning. According to his longtime Hollywood writing partner, Bannon even met with controversial Oscar winner Mel Gibson in his effort to get the picture made.
The 11-page outline for Bannon’s unmade movie, a copy of which was reviewed by The Daily Beast, was written in the spring of 2005 and bears the ominous title The Singularity: Resistance Is Futile. (The project’s alternate working title: The Harvest of the Damned.)
The document, which credits Bannon as a writer, producer, and director, divides the movie into 22 segments spread across four sections. A heady, incomplete mix of science, history, religion, and politics, it sketches out a story in which mankind’s unquenchable thirst for knowledge and scientific advancement has led to horrific, fascist atrocities and forced sterilization, drawing a direct line between those atrocities and modern bio-technology.
The draft is unfinished, so it is unclear precisely what Bannon's full message and story arc were intended to be. But the theme that genetic and reproductive sciences has led to Nazi horrors and war crimes is a theme seen in a lot of conservative agitprop.
Essentially, Bannon’s is a Christian right-friendly story of arrogant scientists trying to perfect the human race at the expense of the natural order and God’s vision of humanity.
“The acceleration of technological progress is the central feature of the 20th /21st century,” the chapter titled “The Religion of Technology” begins. “We are on the edge of change brought about by Man’s ability to create… Man, the toolmaker, is on the verge of creating greater-than-human intelligence.”
“The Tree of Knowledge—the garden of the new Eden, fruit of the forbidden tree: clones, mutants, and designer humans,” the segment continued.
Subsequent segments riff on the Enlightenment, Christianity, English literature, physics, nanotechnology, genetic engineering, and “incomprehensible social change,” to name a few of the big subjects that piqued Bannon’s cinematic interest.
“[The] most radical ideology in history—Man as the driver of evolution, the creator of the new Adam,” Bannon’s draft reads.
Later, Segment 8 covers in four minutes “subjugation of race and class throughout time,” including Native Americans, “Jews and gypsies,” “Suni’s and Shiites” (sic), and also the genocides in Rwanda and Bosnia.
The next four minutes cover Darwin, Nietzsche, Wagner, “the survival of the fittest,” “the Ubermensch,” and “the Aryan Elite.”
And things keep getting darker. Segment 12 opens Section III, “The Commercial Eugenics Civilization,” with two minutes covering Nazi theories and practices of racial purity, and “the perfectibility of life through a human-controlled elite race that will bring about a better world.”
From there, it’s a deep dive into “Anglo-Saxons” and “the Aryans,” which includes a bullet point on “the American Eugenics Movement: Sanger, Rockefellers, Harrimans, abortion, contraception.”
That in turn segues into sections on German nationalism and Hitler’s “fan letter” to eugenicist Madison Grant, and how Nazi doctors, gas chambers, and death camps were influenced by American eugenics, including sterilization law in California.
Bannon’s draft soon leaves behind the Nazi bloodbath and Holocaust to examine “Yuppie Science” and “Bio-technology as big business: Irving Weismann, Hans Kiersted, Ray Kurzweil, Karen Bernstein, Biomark, Amgen, and the darlings of Wall Street.”
The “new age super-powers” are identified as China, Singapore, Korea, and Japan, and Walt Disney and Ted Williams are categorized as part of the “frozen elite.”
In its penultimate segment, the film examines “post-humanity,” “the Fountain of Youth,” and “The New Immortals”—who are “living happily… ever-after,” apparently thanks in part to “spare body parts for sale.” That’s followed by a “CODA” described only as “THE SINGULARITY,” and a final four-minute segment, described only as NOVUS ORDO SECULORUM—a slight variant of the Latin motto that translates to “New Order of the Ages” and appears just below the pyramid with an eye on the back of our one-dollar bills.
Bannon did not respond to requests for an interview on this story.
Julia Jones—Bannon’s longtime Hollywood writing partner and former close friend who had a falling out with Bannon over his prominent role in Trump’s campaign, which “disgusted” her—is credited as Bannon’s co-writer on The Singularity. When reached by The Daily Beast this week, Jones confirmed that this was an unfinished project the two had worked on together back in the Bush years but said she did not remember contents of the outline.
“This was the first thing Steve wanted to do after [our Ronald Reagan movie] In the Face of Evil—but nothing ever came of it,” she recalled. “I was very involved in researching it.”
Jones said she did extensive research for this would-be movie, which included drawing inspirations from books like Edwin Black’s War Against the Weak.
Jones also said Bannon talked about how he was securing financing for the film from at least one Hollywood big name. Jones recalled at least two occasions over the four months that they worked on the film when Bannon “said we were getting the money from Mel Gibson,” the famous Lethal Weapon star and director of Braveheart and The Passion of the Christ.
“At one point, Steve came [into the office] and said he met with Mel—‘We’re gonna do a cloning documentary with Mel Gibson,’ he told me,” Jones said.
Another source close to Bannon during his days as a conservative filmmaker in Hollywood who asked not to be named due to fear of retribution also told The Daily Beast about hearing Bannon boast about meeting with Gibson for The Singularity.
“Yup, he certainly enjoyed name-dropping Gibson,” the former Bannon associate said.
There was a time when Bannon was tight with people in close-knit circles of conservative Hollywood, and that included some people who had worked with Gibson. Jim Caviezel, for instance, was a huge fan of Bannon’s pro-Reagan propaganda doc, and Caviezel would even host exclusive parties with Bannon to promote the film at a mansion in Santa Barbara. (Caviezel played Jesus Christ in Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ, the 2004 blockbuster drama dogged by charges of blatant anti-Semitism.)
Bannon and Gibson also overlapped politically, as they were both part of the more outspoken Christian Hollywood right.
“Steve was such a good Catholic—he didn’t approve of abortion,” Jones said. “I’m pro-choice but anti-abortion—we had the anti-abortion part in common.”
When reached for comment about Bannon’s reported claims that he had met with Gibson for the project, Gibson’s publicist Alan Nierob quickly and tersely denied it, replying, “‘Fake news’ is my comment.”
Before Bannon headed Breitbart and then became one of the most powerful people in the world via the Trump administration, he operated in the Democratic bastion of liberal Hollywood as a right-wing filmmaker influenced by the filmmaking of Nazi propagandist Leni Riefenstahl. Some of his projects became films, others did not.
Last week, The Washington Post published excerpts from his draft for a movie that warned about how Muslim extremists could try to turn the U.S. into the “Islamic States of America.” The document also blamed the “American Jewish Community” as being one of the “enablers” of this supposed threat.
As The Daily Beast reported last year, Bannon’s other unproduced film projects included a script about the Rwandan genocide, a Shakespearean hip-hop musical about the 1992 Los Angeles riots, and an adaptation of Titus Andronicus that was set “on the moon with creatures from outer space.”
Today, he sits at the height of executive power.
“The film producer Stephen K. Bannon isn’t just on a crusade. He’s on a roll,” The New York Times wrote of Bannon in June 2005, in a piece on conservatives working in the movie industry.
The paper might as well have been writing about him now.