HBO News Blog

Development Slate – HBO Films: BONE WARS

By Jef Dinsmore on Apr 17, 2013 to HBO News

dev-logoNot always, but usually the development news we gather makes it into a super post detailing the latest in development deals, series commitments and casting news. However, on occasion, we give attention to a work in the planning stages for HBO that really intrigues us here at HBOWatch by giving it a post of its own.  So is the case with this post. See, if you find it as interesting as we do.

Now, admittedly there is not much news to go on here, but I’ll flesh it out to show you an interesting plot, a smart production team and a strong cast surrounding this pending project for HBO. All that should make a detailed post drawing your attention to BONE WARS.

What is going to attract most viewers to a project is who stars in it. In this case that will be Steve Carell and James Gandolfini. Then, you hope for an exciting or unique story. I think we will get that in BONE WARS. The ‘war’ of the title is The Great Dinosaur Rush which was the actual heated race by famed paleontologists to expose the scientific discovery of dinosaurs presence in prehistoric North America. carell_gandolfiniTwo famed scientists in this quest were Edward Drinker Cope of the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia and Othniel Charles Marsh of the Peabody Museum of Natural History at Yale. Both of them used underhanded methods to try to out-compete the other in the field, resorting to bribery, theft, and destruction of bones. Each scientist also attacked the other in scientific publications, seeking to ruin his credibility and have his funding cut off.

Their search for fossils led them west to Colorado, Nebraska, and Wyoming. From 1877 to 1892, both paleontologists used their wealth and influe
cope_marshnce to finance their own expeditions and to procure services and dinosaur bones from fossil hunters. By the end Cope and Marsh were financially and socially ruined by their attempts to disgrace each other, but their contributions to science and the field of paleontology were beneficial. It sounds like an interesting premise to us and the two actors look similar to their characters. Steve Carell will play Cope (on left) making James Gandolfini as Marsh.

Mr. Gandolfini, of course is no stranger to HBO. After his honored presence in THE SOPRANOS he took on the role of producer with his AttaBoy Productions to give us HBO Films: HEMINGWAY & GELLHORN. He acted in HBO Film: CINEMA VERITE and the series pilot, that didn’t get picked up, CRIMINAL JUSTICE. Also from his company is Alexandra Ryan. Steve Carell also serves as a producer with Thom Hinkle from his Carousel Television company. For this writer it is nice to see Gandofini still working with HBO and the comedic talent of “The Office” and Forty Year Old Virgin alum Steve Carell is a nice addition as well.

HBOWatch will keep an eye on this production as it develops. It is understood that HBO Films: BONE WARS is still searching for a writer to flesh out the piece which is said to billed as a comedic movie about the dueling scientists. If this interesting premise sounds cool to you than check back as it is now on our radar.


  • cablegirl

    YES….another great original series. Love the plot and who could go wrong with Steve Carrell and James Gandolfini???? Can not wait for the air date.

    • Jef Dinsmore

      Just a quick correction. It is not to be a series but I one-time HBO Film at least 90 minutes long. That faact is better than nothing and we’ll take it , right?

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