Richard Linklater (BOYHOOD) will direct a feature film about the charlatan Dr. James Romulus Brinkley, who claimed to have invented a cure for impotence. In the 1920s, he performed a number of operations in which he implanted goat testicles into male patients. Robert Downey Jr. will star.
Brinkley was the subject of Penny Lane’s 2016 documentary NUTS!, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and played at Museum of the Moving Image. Lane’s film, developed over eight years, was inspired by a biography of Brinkley by Pope Brock. Her film is about “how you differentiate between science and pseudoscience,” Lane told Science & Film. “What is the difference ethically between someone who is a scientist who may be just wrong, someone who thinks they’ve figured something out and is incorrect and honestly believes it and is trying to push science forward, and someone who is a con man who knows what he is doing is bunk and is selling that? There’s actually a huge difference between those two kinds of people.”
NUTS! is available to stream on Amazon. For Linklater’s film, Annapurna Pictures and Team Downey Productions will produce.