'Future Is Wild' heading to big screen

'Shrek' producer John Williams developing

Warner Bros. is getting wild, teaming up with "Shrek" producer John Williams to develop a feature take on the environmental television hit "The Future Is Wild."

The seven-part series, conceived by John Adams and produced by a consortium of global players including Discovery Channel and German network ZDF, aired on Animal Planet six years ago. It depicted life on Earth hundreds of millions of years into the future, when an ice age has wiped out all humans and new hybrid creatures roam the planet (sample names: the babookari, the cryptile and the shagrat).

The jeremiad, which took the form of a nature doc, used computer imaging to tell its story and relied on a host of scientists to construct its futuristic world. The project also spawned companion books, theme-park rides, DVDs and games. Producers are peddling a new series with similar themes at the upcoming MIPCOM TV market.

The Warners film will use live-action, animation and animatronics, filmmakers said. Williams will develop with Adams and Adams' business partners Gerhard Sieber and Ettore Botta.

The project continues Warner Bros.' interest in environmentally themed projects. The studio, led by NRDC supporter Alan Horn, released the global-warming doc "Under the Sea 3D" and also has fast-tracked the arctic animal tale "Everybody Loves Whales."

Adams noted that the goal of the pic is to show the possible future of planet Earth in a way that is "exciting, informative and inspirational," while Williams noted that "technology has just about caught up to John's scientifically based imagination."

Williams, an animation vet best known for "Shrek," is also behind upcoming comic-book pic "Emo Boy" and Roald Dahl adaptation "The Twits."
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