“He offered to call my ex on behalf of the children”: Val Kilmer Will Be Forever Grateful to Marlon Brando for His Gesture in One of His Worst Movies Ever Made

While Val Kilmer might want to forget ‘The Island of Dr. Moreau,’ he can never forget Marlon Brando’s kindness toward him.

Marlon Brando, Val Kilmer


  • Despite the failure of ‘The Island of Dr. Moreau,’ Val Kilmer had a great time working with Marlon Brando.
  • During an AMA on Reddit, Kilmer revealed the support offered by Brando when the former was going through a divorce on the set.
  • Kilmer also shared his negative experience with the film’s production.
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Hollywood is filled to the brim with all kinds of movies. Some you never want to forget because of how good they are and some you just can’t forget because of how bad they were. Val Kilmer’s The Island of Dr. Moreau falls in the latter category. The film was supposed to be directed by Richard Stanley, but after a series of problems arose at production, the filmmaker was asked to leave by New Line Cinema. John Frankenheimer brought the film to the finish line but to no avail.

The Island of Dr. Moreau
The Island of Dr. Moreau (1996) | New Line Cinema

Not only did The Island of Dr. Moreau bomb at the box office, but it was also heavily criticized by both critics and the audience. However, not everything was bad about the film. For example, Val Kilmer was extremely grateful for working with the late Marlon Brando and has a heartwarming memory of the actor offering to go out of his way for him.

Val Kilmer Recalls Working with Marlon Brando

Island of Dr. Moreau - Marlon Brando
Marlon Brando in a still from The Island of Dr. Moreau | New Line Cinema

While on tour for Cinema Twain, the feature version of Val Kilmer’s one-man stage show Citizen Twain, the actor took some time off to answer fans’ questions and just have a conversation with them. In order to do so, he logged onto Reddit‘s r/movies subreddit, where he opened an AMA and invited his fans to ask him anything their heart desired.


From Tombstone to Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, fans had a lot to say and ask about Kilmer’s many iconic projects, but there was one question that stood out from the rest. Instead of asking about his great works, a fan asked Kilmer what it was like working with Marlon Brando on 1996’s The Island of Dr. Moreau.

The actor wrote back reminiscing the time when he was in the middle of a divorce on the set of the film and Brando stepped in and asked if Kilmer would want him to talk to his wife on behalf of their children.

Brando was everything you want the major icon in your world to be, a genius and a gentleman. I was getting divorced at the time and he was so gracious about offering me time and considered thought. He offered to call my ex on behalf of the children. He was one of the funniest men on earth. I still laugh out loud about some of the things he said and did. I mean he literally wore a salad bowl over his head.

However, his feelings for Brando do not resonate with his feelings for the film’s production. Let’s take a look at that, shall we?


Val Kilmer Talks about His Experience on the Film

Val Kilmer in a still from the island of dr. moreau
Val Kilmer in The Island of Dr. Moreau | New Line Cinema

While he has great respect for Brando and looks back at the time he spent with him with fondness, he does not hold the same emotions for The Island of Dr. Moreau.

The production of the film was littered with setbacks, and many of them were due to the problems actors were facing in their personal lives. Continuing his answer on Reddit, Kilmer recalled his experience on the set of the disaster film and put director John Frankenheimer on blast.

He said,


Much has been said about how awful the experience was. There were several embarrassed execs who made it seem worse than it was to do because the film was so poorly received, and the replacement director was desperate for a comeback and blamed me for the films failure which doesn’t hold water when you watch it because I die in the film and the whole last half is just as bad as when I was alive so how could I have made stuff I wasn’t in not work? Doesn’t make any sense.

Kilmer also added that he begged the studio to allow him to film a behind-the-scenes documentary of the film as he believed the BTS clips would be “more interesting than what was happening in front of the camera.” Unfortunately, his idea never came to fruition.

As for The Island of Dr. Moreau, which follows the story of a mad scientist who was turning animals into human-like beasts, the film was poorly received by everyone who watched it. It has a Rotten Tomatoes score of 22% and was a total flop at the box office.

You can rent/buy The Island of Dr. Moreau on Prime Video.


Written by Mishkaat Khan

Articles Published: 1264

Mishkaat is a medical student who found solace in content writing. Having worked in the industry for about three years, she has written about everything from medicine to literature and is now happy to enlight you about the world of entertainment. She has written over a thousand articles for FandomWire. When not writing, she can be found obsessing over the world of the supernatural through books and TV.