National Geographic Channel Orders Drama Script for Global Limited Series Based on Michael Crichton’s Soon-to-Be-Published Manuscript, Dragon Teeth
From Amblin Television, Sony Pictures Television and CrichtonSun, Global Limited Series to Tell a Story Inspired by the Infamous Rivalry Between World Renowned Paleontologists Edward Drinker Cope and Othniel Charles Marsh, Written By Emmy®-Award Winning Bruce C. McKenna and Graham Yost
WASHINGTON & LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--National Geographic Channel has closed a drama series script development deal with Amblin Television, Sony Pictures Television and CrichtonSun for a global limited series based on the soon-to-be-published Michael Crichton manuscript, Dragon Teeth. Crichton wrote the novel during his most prolific years as a writer and filmmaker. The book was discovered by his wife Sherri Crichton amongst his archives and immediately identified the book as “Pure Crichton.”
“This epic tale of science, adventure and exploration from master storyteller Michael Crichton is the perfect scripted project for the network”
Adapted for television by Emmy®-award winning writers Graham Yost (“Justified,” “The Pacific,” “From the Earth to the Moon”) and Bruce C. McKenna (“The Pacific,” “Band of Brothers”), Crichton’s Dragon Teeth follows the notorious rivalry between real-life paleontologists Edward Drinker Cope and Othniel Charles Marsh during a time of intense fossil speculation and discovery. The story unfolds through the adventures of a young fictional character named William Johnson who is apprenticed first to one, then to the other, and not only makes discoveries of historical proportion, but transforms into an inspiring hero only Crichton could have imagined. Known for his meticulous research, Crichton uses Marsh and Copes’s heated competition during the “Bone Wars,” the golden age of American fossil hunting, as the basis for a thrilling story set in the wilds of the American West in 1878.
“This epic tale of science, adventure and exploration from master storyteller Michael Crichton is the perfect scripted project for the network,” said Carolyn Bernstein, Executive Vice President and Head of Global Scripted Development and Production, National Geographic Channel. “With Amblin, Sony Pictures Television, CrichtonSun and the distinctive creative voices of Graham and Bruce, we are going to tell the dramatic story of these two passionate mavericks, Edward Drinker Cope and Othniel Charles Marsh, and their relentless, passionate, and oftentimes unscrupulous drive in the name of scientific discovery, mixed with the very unique and brilliant Crichton touch and approach.”
Executive producing for Amblin Television are Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey, and Sherri Crichton and Laurent Bouzereau for CrichtonSun.
“Given Michael’s history with Amblin, and his love of science, I am delighted to have found the perfect home for Dragon Teeth at Nat Geo,” said Sherri Crichton. “Dragon Teeth was a very important book for Michael and is another example of his immense talent and versatility as a writer and his appreciation and understanding of a great page in the history of paleontology.”
“It's great fun to be working on a newly discovered novel from such a beloved author, whose work has been the basis of so many brilliant films and television shows,” said Helen Verno, Executive Vice President of Movies, Miniseries and Limited series for Sony Pictures Television. “Graham Yost and Bruce McKenna are uniquely suited to adapt this material given their interest in and knowledge of Cope and Marsh, and Sherri Crichton, Amblin Productions and National Geographic Channel are the greatest of partners.”
"We couldn't be more excited to bring Dragon Teeth to the screen given the successful commercial and creative collaboration Michael and Amblin shared with the ‘Jurassic’ franchise and ‘ER,’" said Darryl Frank, and Justin Falvey, Co-Presidents, Amblin Television. "When we heard there was a soon-to-be-published manuscript from Michael, we couldn't wait to dive into the material and it didn't disappoint. The characters practically jumped off the page, and he brought the Old West to life in a way that's never been portrayed before."
They added, "We are also incredibly excited to continue our long association with Graham and Bruce, who have proven to have the ‘Midas Touch’ with all the limited series projects they have done for Steven and our company including ‘Band of Brothers’ and ‘The Pacific.’”
“It’s an honor to be part of this team, and to be carrying the Michael Crichton torch with a project as powerful as Dragon Teeth,” said Laurent Bouzereau.
Currently Executive Producer of the upcoming History Channel series "Six," starring Walton Goggins and Barry Sloan, produced by A & E Studios, Bruce C. McKenna previously partnered with HBO, Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg and Gary Goetzman as a Co-Executive Producer of “The Pacific,” for which he won a producer Emmy® and was nominated for a writing Emmy® and Humanitas Prize. He was also a writer for the Emmy® Award-winning miniseries "Band of Brothers,” for which he garnered a WGA Award, an Emmy® nomination and a nomination as a finalist for the Humanitas Prize.
McKenna is currently working on a biopic of Alexander Solzhenitsyn for Primeridian Entertainment, and a Limited Series about Kit Carson, based on Hampton Sides's epic tale of the American West, “Blood and Thunder,” for Scott Free and STX Studios. No stranger to the world of paleontology, Bruce C. McKenna spent his summers in field camps with his father, New York Museum of Natural History’s renowned paleontologist, Malcolm McKenna, collecting fossils at some of the same localities culled by Cope and Marsh during their epic competition.
Yost is currently the showrunner of the upcoming Sony-produced Amazon series “Sneaky Pete,” starring Giovanni Ribisi. He is also an Executive Producer on the critically-lauded FX series “The Americans” and until the spring of 2015, was the showrunner on “Justified,” the Sony-produced series on FX, starring Timothy Olyphant, based on a character created by one of America’s pre-eminent crime novelists, Elmore Leonard.
As a producer, Yost won Emmy® and Golden Globe® Awards for the HBO miniseries “From the Earth to the Moon.” In addition, he garnered an Emmy® nomination for writing the episode “Apollo One,” and he directed the fifth segment of the critically-acclaimed series. Yost later wrote/co-wrote two installments of the Golden Globe® and Emmy® Award-winning HBO miniseries “Band of Brothers.” He also won an Emmy® Award for “The Pacific,” HBO’s epic miniseries following three Marines through the Pacific theater of World War II. Yost directed and co-wrote an episode and served as Co-Executive Producer.
In 2002, Yost created the critically-lauded TV series “Boomtown” for NBC. Cancelled in the fall of 2003, the late-lamented “Boomtown” was honored with a Peabody Award and two Television Critics Association awards.
His feature film writing credits include “Speed,” “Broken Arrow,” “Hard Rain,” “Mission to Mars” and “The Last Castle.”
Dragon Teeth will be produced by Sony Pictures Television, Amblin Television and CrichtonSun. For Amblin Television, executive producers are Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey, for CrichtonSun, Sherri Crichton and Laurent Bouzereau.
ICM Partners and Michael S. Sherman of Reed Smith LLP represented CrichtonSun in the negotiating the deal.
About Amblin Television
Amblin Television, a long-time leader in quality programming, is a division of Amblin Partners, a content creation company formed by DreamWorks Studios, Participant Media, Reliance Entertainment and Entertainment One (eOne). The company has received 13 Emmy nominations for “All the Way” and ”The Americans.” Its drama series, “American Gothic,” is currently airing on CBS.
About CrichtonSun LLC
CrichtonSun is the home of the Michael Crichton Archives as well as the executive producing team of Sherri Crichton and Laurent Bouzereau. Michael Crichton re-defined science-fiction into science-fact and left behind a gigantic legacy of novels, non-fiction work, speeches, films and TV series. The vast works of Michael Crichton library will continue to be explored with many treasures that have yet to be seen.
About Michael Crichton:
Michael Crichton (1942-2008) was a writer and filmmaker, best known as the author and creator of Jurassic Park and ER. The Andromeda Strain (1969) was his first bestseller. Following the success of the book, Michael decided to quit medicine and to pursue writing full-time. In addition to his best-selling novels such as The Great Train Robbery, Congo, Sphere, Jurassic Park, Rising Sun, Disclosure, Airframe, Timeline, Prey, State of Fear and Next, Michael also wrote non-fiction books (Electronic Life, Jasper Johns), and directed several films (Westworld, The Great Train Robbery, Coma), and earned an Academy Award for Technical Achievement in 1995 for his pioneering use of computer programs for film.
Crichton’s groundbreaking, fast-paced narrative combined with meticulous scientific research made him one of the most popular writers in the world. His novels and non-fiction books have sold over 200 million copies worldwide, been translated into 38 languages and 13 have been made into films. Crichton remains the only person to have a number one book, film, and television series in the same year.
Sony Pictures Television
Sony Pictures Television (http://www.sonypicturestelevision.com) is one of the television industry’s leading content providers, producing and distributing programming worldwide in every genre and for every platform. In addition to managing one of the industry’s largest libraries of award-winning feature films, television shows and formats, SPT is home to a thriving US production business and operates 17 wholly-owned or joint venture production companies in 13 countries around the world. SPT’s worldwide networks portfolio includes 150 channel feeds, which are available in 178 countries reaching more than 1.3 billion cumulative households worldwide. Sony Pictures Television (SPT) is a Sony Pictures Entertainment Company.
National Geographic Channel
The National Geographic Channels (The Channels) form the television and production arm of National Geographic Partners, a joint venture between 21st Century Fox and the National Geographic Society. As a global leader in premium science, adventure and exploration programming, the Channels include: National Geographic Channel (NGC), Nat Geo WILD, Nat Geo People and Nat Geo MUNDO. Additionally, the Channels also run the in-house television production unit, National Geographic Studios. The Channels contribute to the National Geographic Society’s commitment to exploration, conservation and education with entertaining, innovative programming from A-level talent around the world, and with profits that help support the society’s mission. Globally, NGC is available in more than 440 million homes in 171 countries and 45 languages, and Nat Geo WILD is available in 131 countries and 38 languages. National Geographic Partners is also a leader in social media, with a fan base of 250 million people across all of its social pages. NGC contributes over 55 million social media fans globally on Facebook alone. For more information, visit www.natgeotv.com and www.natgeowild.com.