1. Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818)
Novel about a young man who creates a creature in the shape of a man then rejects it, creating conflict between the two. It has been adapted numerous times, with some less faithful to the original text than others. It features several themes that can be attributed to cloning, such as the responsibility of a creator to the created as well as the folly of trying to ‘play God’
Shelly, M. (1818). Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus. United Kingdom, UK: Lackington, Hughes, Harding, Mavor & Jones
2. Jurassic Park (1990/1993)
Science-fiction novel by Michael Crichton where dinosaurs are genetically recreated for an island amusement park, only to escape and cause havoc. Later adapted into a film by Steven Spielberg. Offers a cautionary tale on the implications of using cloning to revive extinct species.
Crichton, M. (1990). Jurassic Park. New York, NY: Alfred A. Knopf
Spielberg, S. (1993). Jurassic Park. Universal City, California: Universal Studios
3. The Boys from Brazil (1976/1978)
A thriller novel by Ira Levin wherein a Nazi Hunter uncovers a plot by a former Nazi scientist who is trying to create a new leader for the fascist movement by creating clones of Adolf Hitler. Two years after its release it was adapted into a film.
Levin, I. (1976). The Boys from Brazil. New York, NY: Random House
Schaffner, F. J. (1978). The Boys from Brazil. California, US: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
4. Sleeper (1973)
A science-fiction comedy film written and directed by Woody Allen about a man who is cryogenically frozen and wakes up in an inept totalitarian state. It is based on the H.G. Wells book When the Sleeper Wakes, and features multiple elements of science-fiction, including cloning, which is briefly introduced when it is revealed that the leader of the state is dead and his followers are planning to clone him from his nose.
Allen, W. (1973). Sleeper. Century City, Los Angeles: United Artists
5. Multiplicity (1996)
A comedy film about a man who creates clones of himself to take care of all his responsibilities for him. Not a serious film, but it does include some interesting ideas about cloning, such as how each clone has its own personality and that if a clone is cloned, the resulting offspring has a lower IQ.
Ramis, H. & Albert, T. (1996). Multiplicity. California, US: Columbia Pictures
6. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (1968) Philip K. Dick
A science-fiction novel about a bounty hunter faced with ‘retiring’ six androids who have escaped. Though the androids are not actually clones, they are made of organic components and their presence in the book does bring up several themes regarding whether a copy of a human is, in fact, human.
Dick, P. K. (1968). Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? New York City, NY: Doubleday
7. Blade Runner (1982)
A science-fiction action film loosely based on Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep. It features the same general story, themes and characters, only the bounty hunters are called Blade Runners and the androids are known as replicants.
Scott, R. (1982). Blade Runner. California, US: Warner Bros Pictures
8. Gattaca (1997)
A science-fiction film featuring a future society driven by liberal eugenics, where genetic engineering allows for the creation of genetically optimal children. This has resulted in discrimination from the genetically superior ‘valids’ towards the natural, inferior ‘invalids’.
Niccol, A. (1997). Gattaca. California, US: Columbia Pictures
9. The Island (2005)
A science-fiction/ thriller film involving a facility of clones used for organ harvesting, surrogate motherhood and other purposes. The clones themselves are raised under the impression that they are survivors of a global pandemic, with a lottery allowing certain individuals to go to a paradise known as ‘the Island’ (in reality, a ruse for the harvesting). The clones are all mentally like children, though the protagonist manages to develop further. The film explores several themes regarding the nature of clones and the ethics of creating them.
Bay, M. (2005). The Island. California, US: Dreamworks Studios & Warner Bros Pictures
10. Womb (2010)
A film about a woman who gives birth to and raises a clone of her dead partner. Themes regarding the nature of clones compared to their original counterparts and the ethics behind the process are explored.
Fliegauf, B. (2010). Womb. Germany: Independent film
11. Never Let Me Go (2005/2010)
A dystopian science-fiction novel about the lives of three characters throughout their lives at a boarding school. It is revealed that they are clones created to provide non-clones with vital organs. It was adapted into a film in 2010.
Ishiguro, K. (2005). Never Let Me Go. London, UK: Faber and Faber
Romanek, M. (2010). Never Let Me Go. California, US: Fox Searchlight Pictures
12. Judge Dredd
The character Judge Dredd from 2000AD is a clone of the first Chief Judge. He and his brother, Rico Dredd, both had their growth artificially accelerated and were given the name Dredd to ‘instill fear in the population’. The character has also been cloned himself.
Wagner, J. & Ezquerra, C. & Mills, P. (1977). 2000AD No.2. London, UK: Fleetway
13. Spider-Man: The Clone Saga
A highly controversial storyline from Marvel’s Spider-Man comics that spanned throughout much of the 1990s. It involved a clone of Peter Parker known as Ben Reilly, who is ‘revealed’ to actually be the original while Peter is apparently a clone. It was originally planned to be completed in less than a year, but when the comics began selling well the writers were encouraged to prolong the story as long as possible. The result was one of the most convoluted and despised superhero stories of all time.
Kavanagh, T. & Cavalieri, J. & Dezago, T. & DeMatteis, J. M. & DeFalco, T., (1994-1996). Amazing Spider-Man #394-418/Sensational Spider-Man #0-11/Spectacular Spider-Man #217-240/Spider-Man #51-75/Spider-Man Unlimited #7-14/ Web of Spider-Man #117-129. New York city, NY: Marvel Comics
14. Metal Gear Solid series
A Stealth-Action videogame series created by Hideo Kojima. In the first MGS, the protagonist, Solid Snake, and antagonist, Liquid, are both revealed to be clones of legendary soldier Big Boss. In the second game, Sons of Liberty, a third clone, Solidus, is revealed. Finally, in the fourth game, Guns of the Patriots, Snake has aged rapidly and only has a year left to live. This is revealed to have been caused by his telomeres being deliberately altered. It is also shown that he and Liquid are not exact copies of Big Boss.
Kojima, H. (1998-2008). Metal Gear Solid/ Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty/ Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. Tokyo, Japan: Konami Corporation