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While I never read/watched it, I know the basic pop culture of 'The Island of Dr. Moreau'. A (mad) scientist, on an island, creates a 'perfect' society of talking animals, that ends up not being so perfect. It's hard not to think about it during Guardians 3, especially during the Counter-earth sequence.

Was the movie (or the original comic story) meant to be a reference to it? Or am I reaching?

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The High Evolutionary is indeed based on the infamous Dr. Moreau. There is a clip on Twitter of James Gunn saying:

“The High Evolutionary I loved, because I’m a big fan of Island of Lost Souls, Island of Dr. Moreau, and I always wanted to tell a story like that.

In an interview, the writer and director of the film told Empire:

The High Evolutionary is one of my favourite Marvel villains,” explains Gunn. “I’ve always been a big fan of [1932 film] Island Of Lost Souls. He’s like a space Doctor Moreau.

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  • This answer only shows that James Gunn, just like OP, sees the similarities between them, and not really if the original story was inspired by it
    – Ivo
    May 31, 2023 at 9:40
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    @Ivo James Gunn wrote and directed the film. If he says (in the context of GotG 3) that "I always wanted to tell a story like [The Island of Dr. Moreau]", or compares the villain of the film to Dr. Moreau, then I think it makes sense to say that the film is somehow referencing "The Island of Dr. Moreau". May 31, 2023 at 10:15
  • @Ivo : when I mentioned the original comic story, it was in case the movie would be inspired in an inderect way. With for exemple a citation from the original writer saying he wanted to do Dr Moreau, and Gunn saying he loved the comic book storyline and wanting to do it faithfully. In this cas, the tweet saying Gunn wanted to do Dr Moreau is fine for me.
    – dna
    May 31, 2023 at 14:18
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    Honestly, I don't think you can really do a modern piece of media about a scientist creating humanoid animals and it isn't a reference to Dr. Moreau, even if only the very broad strokes "cultural osmosis" version of the story. May 31, 2023 at 18:35

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