Spielberg Dinosaur Series ‘Terra Nova’: New Details Emerge

Published 4 years ago by

Terra Nova Steven Spielberg plot details Spielberg Dinosaur Series Terra Nova: New Details Emerge

A few months ago we learned of a new dinosaur TV series entitled Terra Nova, which mega-producer Steven Spielberg was set to produce. Since Jurassic Park 4 is stuck in development hell we assumed he was desperate to explore the world of dinosaurs once more.

Then a few weeks ago we learned that Fox may have ordered an initial 13 episode run of the Terra Nova with some impressive production talent behind it alongside Spielberg, notably Brannon Braga of Star Trek, 24 and Flashforward fame. At that time we knew only a little of the general plot: “Terra Nova follows a family from 100 years in the future who travel back in time 150 million years to prehistoric Earth ruled by dinosaurs.”

However, today EW has a report on the current status of Terra Nova including more details on the plot of the series.

Here’s the updated plot:

[It] begins in 2149 A.D. The scene: a large group of settlers are preparing to leave the apocalyptic world they live in to time travel back millions of years via a massive, high-tech contraption. Their goal is to see trees, enjoy a blue sky, eat real food – basically, to start over in this so-called Eden. But what they find is unlike anything they were expecting.

Sounds like a cross between Jurassic Park and The Time Machine, with a bit of that relatively recent time-travel movie, The Sound of Thunder, thrown in. The series is described as a drama more than anything else, but I’m sure the inclusion of dinosaurs will help keep it visually interesting. There’s a concern the effects won’t be good enough to make the dinosaurs look realistic – but with people like Spielberg involved I’m sure it won’t have the smallest of budgets.

Jurassic Park Terra Nova Spielberg Dinosaur Series Terra Nova: New Details Emerge

Will 'Terra Nova' get close to the effects of Jurassic Park?

On top of the new plot details, EW‘s report also says that Spielberg taped a special introductory message to be shown to advertisers if Fox indeed gives the series the green light (producer Peter Chernan is also expected to appear in the message). But sources say the 13 episode commitment by Fox is a “foregone conclusion,” so expect to seeing this soon.

An offer to play the lead character went out to Friday Night Lights star, Kyle Chandler, but EW reports he has already passed on the deal. Expect to hear a lot of casting announcements over the next couple of months as Terra Nova is already aiming to start shooting some time late this summer.

What do you think of the updated plot for Terra Nova? Does it sound like a show worth checking out?

Source: EW (via /Film)

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  1. Please, for God’s love. I beg and beg … I’m pleading for the development of JP4.

    Please Spielberg, listem me. Please, make JURASSIC PARK 4!

  2. Jurrasic Park 4 is not stuck in development hell. It’s been cancelled, officially.

    Basically Steven Speiberg and Kathleen Kennedy said that would not continue the series now that Michael Crichton passed away. Instead, Spielberg saw potential in “Pirate Latittudes” and considered it a far better way to honor his friend.

    Don’t expect JP4.

    • Joe Johnston confirmed Jurassic park 4 January 2010. It’s coming AFTER Captain America. So were still a good 3 or 4 years away from another Jurassic park.

    • Though there is nothing official on Jurassic Park IV, it hasn’t been officially cancelled, at all. It is still stuck in development Hell because both Johnston and Spielberg still want to revisit the Jurassic Park project. They have stated it many, many times in several different interviews. If they both want to work on Jurassic Park, it is pretty much a done deal. Eventually, they both will follow through with their desires.

  3. Joe Jonston hasn’t confirmed anything, shut up

    • Though it is true Johnston hasn’t confirmed anything one way or the other, Johnston did, in fact, state that he wanted to start an entirely new Jurassic Park trilogy. He also stated that he wanted to work with Spielberg on the product.

  4. Danne shut the hell up.
    He did say ”there was going to be a forth Jurassic park” an said he hopes to make an entire trilogy. I just looked it up myself to confirm ”MEGS” statement.
    He said actually quoting Johnston ”After Captain America me an steven speilberg will hopefully develop the story.”

    • You are correct, Jason. However, Johnston’s statements back in January do not mean there will definitely be a Jurassic Park IV. It only means that he wants to make it. There are still other problems holding back the making of Jurassic Park IV that he and Spielberg would have to overcome. One of these problems is the script. The script really needs to be good, and it will be difficult just to get a good script written. They’ve been working on the script for many years already. There are many Jurassic Park IV concepts around the internet, but none of them really are good enough. If I was a betting man, though, I’d be more than willing to bet that eventually Johnston and Spielberg will get Jurassic Park IV made.

      Jurassic Park IV is still no done deal, but it isn’t cancelled, either. I have hope, myself, that it will eventually be made, maybe even as a memorial to Michael Crichton. And if Johnston’s plan for an entirely new trilogy does come to pass, that will actually make my day because the Jurassic Park trilogy is one of my favorite trilogies. All three films were great in my opinion, even though the third one was lacking compared to the first two.

  5. This sounds great. I hope its more adult themed and dramatic along with the dinosaur backdrop, with characters the audience can relate to and care about (then some get eaten of course). The dinosaurs should (could) be very realistic; I imagine they will be computer created dino’s but I wish there would be a litte animatronics in there. The animatronics of the first two Jurassic Park films flowed so seemless, and the robotic dino’s were often more menacing than the computer generated ones. (I.E. The raptor snarling at Muldoon, the tyranosaur standing on the car) Lets just all hope to God that they do not put feathers on the dinosaurs. It is in no way a fact that all dino’s had feathers, and the dinos that are proposed to have had them were babies with downy, almost non existent feather like covering in a very small sub group of troodon.

    Tyranosaur skin cells, samples and coloring have been found frozen- its skin was leathery and had a red pigment.

    No feathers on the dinosaurs!

    • In the Jurassic Park films, the only dino they put feathers on was the Velociraptor. They never put feathers on the Tyranosaur, and that was only for the third film. They did that because between the 2nd and 3rd films, some newly discovered evidence showed that the Velociraptor did, in fact, have feathers, and not just the babies, either. The feathers didn’t, however, cover their entire body. Certain dinos, like the Velociraptor, did, in fact, have feathers well into adulthood. Also, no one behind the Jurassic Park films put feathers on the Tyranosaur because so far, there is no evidence that the Tyranosaur had any. If they put feathers on the dinosaurs that actually had them, like the Velociraptor, than you shouldn’t have a problem. It’s when they start putting feathers on dinos that evidence doesn’t prove either way if they had feathers or not that you should have a problem with.

      • “It’s when they start putting feathers on dinos that evidence doesn’t prove either way if they had feathers or not that you should have a problem with.”

        No he shouldn’t. It’s this type of biased thinking that lead artists (except Greg Paul) to slap scales on every dinosaur even though there was no evidence that the smaller forms were scale covered. It is more parsimonious to restore them with feathers if there is no evidence either way because they were warm-blooded, and warm-blooded animals animals need to be either very large, or have insulation to prevent energy from being wasted by lost body heat. Sauropos were may have been the only dinosaurs that lacked fuzz on all stages in their life, but even they may have been secondarily featherless, which means there ancestors were probably covered with insulation. Sorry for the nerd rage reaction, I’m just getting sick of seing dinosaurs without feathers on tv and movies.

        • Uhm, why get sick of dinosaurs without feathers. VERY, VERY few dinosaurs had feathers. The great majority of dinosaurs, about 99% of them, had NO feathers whatsoever. This has been scientifically proven. When they start to put feathers on Dinosaurs that had NONE whatsoever, which is most of them, or start to put feathers on dinosaurs that no one know one way or another had feathers, it is an insult to science.

          By the way, there is plenty of overwhelming evidence that ALL the smaller dinos were covered with scales. It’s just that a tiny few of them had ONLY a few feathers.

          One more thing, rhinos and elephants do NOT lack hair at all. Where do you even get that idea at. I’ve seen them both up close, and they are covered in hair.

          You really need to rethink your stand on this because you have already gotten many scientific facts wrong.

          • “VERY, VERY few dinosaurs had feathers.”

            And how do you know this? Examples of therizinosaurs, dromaeosaurids and oviraptoroids have all been found with feathers, or with clear morphological evidence such as ulnar knobs, or pygostyles. Sinosauropteryx prima is a basal coelurosaur, meaning we can use phylogenetic bracketing to infer that nearly all, if not all maniraptorans were covered in either feathers or proto-feathers. For example: Comsagnathus (compies) were closely related to the genus Sinosauropteryx, which means it is highly probable that Compsagnathus and more derived theropods had proto-feathers.

            “The great majority of dinosaurs, about 99% of them”

            Where are you getting your info? If you would like I can e-mail you peer review papers on this subject. The number you are throwing out is bald assertion based on nothing.

            “This has been scientifically proven”

            Ignoring the fact that “proof” does not exist in science, I again ask based on what? You are only asserting this as so. For what you are saying to be true, we would need to find preserved scales
            on 99% of all specimens, which of is absurd of course. Are you getting your info from ID or creationist sources?

            “dinosaurs that no one know one way or another had feathers”

            Why is putting scales on smaller dinosaurs more reasonable when we have both a basal orthischian (Tianyulong, google it) and a basal tetanurans preserved with proto-feathers? Do you have any understand of caldistics or phylogenetics?

            Regarding mega fauna such as rhinos and elephants: I think you know what I mean when I say they lack hair; they do not have a thick insulative coat. The reason for this is to prevent overheating do to an increased surface to body mass ration. Again I would like to know where you are getting your information.

            • I get my information from science books and scientific websites. I am NOT assuming anything. I am stating scientific FACTS that have been scientific facts for decades. The only one assuming anything around here is you. A few dinosaurs were found to have feathers so you assume all dinosaurs have feathers, which simply is NOT the case. It is a fact that the vast majority of dinosaurs had NO feathers whatsoever. That is a scientific FACT. They ALL also had reptilian scales, though a few did have feathers with them.

              By the way, proof DOES exist in science. It would not be science without proof. Science without proof is bad science. Science without proof is NOT science at all.

              • “I get my information from science books and scientific websites”

                Like?

                I get mine from either via e-mail from paleontologists on the DML, or from peer review papers published in scientific journals. I can find you links to some free ones if you would like. Gregory S. Paul, probably one of the best paleoartists there is, and a scientist, has several posted up on his site that you can read for free.

                “Science without proof is NOT science at all.”

                Proof only exists in mathematics. If things could be proven beyond doubt, and then could never be revised, you would have dogma, not science. You have a lot to learn about how science works.

                http://gspauldino.com/

                “I am stating scientific FACTS that have been scientific facts for decades.”

                No and no. Your ability to ASSERT something is a fact does not make it so.

                “A few dinosaurs were found to have feathers so you assume all dinosaurs have feathers”

                No I did not, that is a straw man of my argument. I actually stated that sauropods lacked them, and I’m sure ankylosaurs lacked them, but the presence of likely homologous integument in a basal onithschian and a basal maniraptoran, not to mention the fuzz on pterosaurs, means it is quite probable that proto-feathers are a basal characteristic of ornithodirans. To put it more simply: proto-feathers were likely to ornithodirans, what hair is to mammals.

                “It is a fact that the vast majority of dinosaurs had NO feathers whatsoever.”

                Are you aware that most dinosaurs were the size of a goat?Psitticosaurus is the only small taxa that has been found covered in scales, yet even IT has long hollow quills on it’s tail that are homologous with fuzz found on Tianyulong. I’ll repeat, Tianyulong is a heterodontosaurid, meaning it is basal within onithschia. Phylogenetic bracketing thus far suggests *strongly* that nearly all small dinosaurs were covered in fuzz or feathers. This should be NO suprise, considering they were warm-blooded animals and birds were a subset of maniraptora.

                • Actually, it is you, not I, who has a lot to learn about how science works. Science without proof would be dogma. In order to be considered science, it needs proof. Science without proof is BAD science.

                  I’m not asserting anything to be facts because they are scientifically proven FACTS, which they have been for decades. Any scientist would tell you that.

                  NOTHING, I repeat, NOTHING suggests strongly that nearly all small dinosaurs were covered in feathers. Again, that false assumption of yours leads to bad or faulty science.

                  I will say this again. It is a scientifically proven FACT that the majority of dinosaurs had NO feathers whatsoever. I am NOT asserting that as fact at all. It is a fact because scientists have proven it to be one. That is what makes it a fact. Unlike you, I’m not going to ignorantly assume anything because ONLY a few dinosaurs were found to have feathers. An assumption that all dinosaurs had feathers based on the fact that ONLY a few had feathers leads to bad science. It is clear in your statements that you have NO clue whatsoever about science, especially when you say science doesn’t require proof. You say that to any good scientist and they will laugh you out of the building. Without proof, it could NEVER be science.

                  You might want to study up on dinosaurs and science because it is very clear you know very little about dinosaurs. Very, very few actually had feathers. That’s been scientifically proven for decades. Heck, books and websites set up by paleontologists make that fact quite clear. They only mention the very few dinosaurs that actually had feathers. Most of them didn’t. That is a fact. I am not asserting it because scientists have already proven it to be a fact.

                  • “it is you, not I, who has a lot to learn about how science works. Science without proof would be dogma.”

                    So can a scientific theory be proven?

                    “NOTHING, I repeat, NOTHING suggests strongly that nearly all small dinosaurs were covered in feathers. Again, that false assumption of yours leads to bad or faulty science.”

                    So phylogenetics is bad science? Do you think only *some* dromaeosaurids had feathers? What about the feathered tyrannosaurid (Dilong paradoxus) they have found? Are you aware they may have found ulnar quil knobs on an allosaurid? Do you think feathers evolved several times in dinosauria?

                    I’m getting the supsicion that you are a creationist; do you believe evolution is a fact?

                    “I will say this again. It is a scientifically proven FACT that the majority of dinosaurs had NO feathers whatsoever”

                    Another bald assertion: how was it “proven”?! You have yet to answer that question. I have listed specimens and made in argument based on phylogenetics, yet all you have done is repeat, “it’s been proven” ad nauseam.

                    “You say that to any good scientist and they will laugh you out of the building. Without proof, it could NEVER be science.”

                    So can you prove a theory?

                    “That’s been scientifically proven for decades. Heck, books and websites set up by paleontologists make that fact quite clear.”

                    Examples please.

                    “An assumption that all dinosaurs had feathers”

                    Don’t you know what a straw man is? I NEVER said that ALL dinosaur species had feathers, not ONCE. I said all MANIRAPTORANS and *most* if not all SMALL TAXA as in SMALL SPECIES which make up MOST OF DINOSAURIA because most dinosaur species were no bigger than a GOAT.

                    Cite some evidence, name a website, or your sources PLEASE. You obviously do not know what phylogenetics is, and I supsect you do not even accept evolution. If I’m mistaked about that please clarify.

                    • Whether I’m a creationist or not has NO bearing whatsoever on anything. Your assumption that creationism has anything to do with it, plain and simple, is idiotic.

                      Of course, scientific theories can be proven. They get proven all the time. As soon as they are proven, they cease to be theories and become scientific facts.

                      I NEVER said NO dinosaurs had feathers. I said some do. It is a scientifically proven fact, however, that most of them did NOT have any feathers of any kind. Of course some did. I’m not debating that. You, however, are saying ALL did based on the fact that ONLY a few had feathers. That, my pompous little friend, is bad science. It’s making an assumption based on NO evidence whatsoever.

                      I’ve already explained how it was proven. It’s NOT a bald assertion at all. Seriously, what is your problem? Pay attention this time. Scientists have proven it over decades of research. This makes it a scientific FACT.

                      My sources happen to be science itself. Science has proven as FACT that nearly all dinosaurs had NO feathers whatsoever. Nearly every scientific resource that talks about dinosaurs says as much. Your problem is you are making an assumption based on NO evidence whatsoever. That is flawed science. Just because a few dinos have been found to have feathers doesn’t not mean they all have. You are extrapolating a conclusion out of it that simply does NOT equate to reality. That is bad science.

    • “Lets just all hope to God that they do not put feathers on the dinosaurs.”

      What?! Why? Due to phylogenetic bracketing, morphological evidence and of course *preserved fossil feathers* we now know with a high degree of certainty that ALL maniraptorans were feathered! Some dromaeosaurids (raptors) could *fly* and the larger species were probably secondarily flightless. Only the largest forms were featherless for the same reason rhino and elephants lack hair. They’ve even found an ornithschian with hair/feathers, it’s called Tianyoulong confuciusi; so even the small herbivores were feathered/fuzzy. These animals were to birds what mammals are to bats. I find these discoveries to be amazing, since birds are far more interesting to me than lizards. So I would actually be pretty upset if they gave science the middle-finger and portrayed them as big lizard like monsters.

      • As I said before, we do NOT know with a high degree of certainty, at all. On the contrary, what we do know for certain is that quite a few maniraptorans had NO feathers whatsoever while others did. There was a wide degree of variation among them. To put feathers on dinos we know for certain didn’t have any would be an insult to science.

        • So evolution is *just* a theory that hasn’t been proven and so is not a fact…right?

  6. Hrmm..
    If they travel back, only to discover a race of aliens have occupied earth, I hope Julian May sues his ass off.. :)

    • I was SO hoping somebody would say that!

    • That was just what I was thinking!!!! Julian May’s stuff probably hasn’t been made into film/TV before because we live in a hypersensitive politically correct society these days and some material in his books could have been totally misconstrued! BUT… if a similar storyline was re-worked along the same lines then you can alter it to how you see fit… makes sense? I wonder….
      PS: all those “Planet X” believers out there would just love this sorta story! :)

  7. Is it just me, or is this a dressed-up, high-budget version of Land of the Lost?

  8. It sure sounds that way. However, with Spielberg and a high enough budget, it might actually be very good. However, there is a risk that needs to be taken into account here. If the budget does indeed become too high, they may actually lose some money on the project. This was one of the problems with the recent TV show Kings. Though Kings was more than decent in my opinion, the budget actually turned out to be too high to warrant the ratings it received.

  9. Lets be honest….The only Great Jurassic Park is the 1st Jurassic Park…plain and simple. Imagine if Spielberg waited all these years and just dropped Jurassic Park 2 on us right now? Amazing, Epic…..the sequel and the 3rd movie were lame. The 3rd followed the book..which was not epic….I’m so looking forward to Terra Nova…and I literally just found out about it and I’m scouring the net for all the info I can get. Now we just need a good new Dinosaur Game…I been saying it for years. EA will probably make it…Spielberg is on the payroll still.

    • Which book did the 3rd one follow? You do realize the 3rd film wasn’t based around a book, don’t you? There was NEVER a 3rd book. Besides that, I thought the last 2 films were pretty good. Heck, The Lost World was my favorite film in the series. I very much prefer it to Jurassic Park. My only real problem with the 3rd film is that it simply wasn’t long enough.

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