Brief summary of the Tolstoy-Starchakov proposal for Orango
Act I In a scientific experiment, a French biologist impregnates a female ape with human sperm. A journalist finds out and publishes an exposé that ignites a political and religious uproar. The biologist continues his research in secret and when the ape conceives, he ships her to a colleague in South America. In due course, he learns that the ape has given birth to a male hybrid which differs little from a baby born to a woman. Correspondence between the two scientists continues until the summer of 1914, when war breaks out in Europe.
Act II One evening after the end of World War I, a stranger knocks at the French biologist's door, introducing himself as Jean Or, the adopted son of the biologist's now-deceased South American colleague. The biologist recognizes the hybrid offspring of his 20-year-old experiment, introduces him to his daughter, and offers assistance. Eventually, the young "man" finds work on a newspaper owned and edited by the very journalist who had originally exposed the scientific experiment in which he was conceived. Or(ango) flourishes, becoming involved in shady dealings, blackmail and financial speculation. He rises rapidly to become the newspaper owner's closest assistant and, ultimately, his successor.
Act III A rabid anti-Communist, Orango now wields enormous power, financial and political; he is an arbiter of taste and fashion. But he is frustrated in his desire to possess the French scientist's daughter. She joins her father now a communist sympathizer and others in a campaign against the newspaper magnate. Orango marries a Russian émigré who has become a Parisian courtesan. His hatred of the working class and the Soviet Union festers. With the years, atavistic features in his face become more apparent; he becomes more and more like his mother. A scandal erupts after he tries to rape the scientist's daughter and Orango is finally unmasked. He embraces the Catholic church for protection. But a world crisis breaks out and Orango goes bankrupt. The Pope rejects him. Orango goes mad. He degenerates entirely into an ape. His wife sells him to the circus. He is shown in a cage....