via press release:
SMITHSONIAN CHANNEL AND WIDE-EYED ENTERTAINMENT ANNOUNCE PRODUCTION
OF EXCLUSIVE TWO-HOUR SPECIAL ON
A MONSTER SNAKE
TITANOBOA, THE LARGEST SERPENT EVER DISCOVERED,
WILL BE REVEALED IN FIRST QUARTER 2012
New York, October 4, 2011 – Slithering in at 48 feet long and weighing an estimated one-and-a-half tons, the largest snake the world has ever seen will be brought back to life for television viewers in the spring of 2012. Sixty million years ago, in the mysterious era after the mass extinction of the dinosaurs, a colossal snake related to modern boa constrictors ruled a lost world that is only now coming to light. With exclusive access, Smithsonian Channel and Wide-Eyed Entertainment will tell the extraordinary true story in TITANOBOA: MONSTER SNAKE.
Smithsonian Channel, Wide-Eyed Entertainment and yap films, the producers behind “March Of The Dinosaurs,” will produce the special as part of an international co-production deal with History Television Canada. The show will be distributed by Fremantle Media Enterprises (FME). Executive producers for Smithsonian Channel are David Royle and Charles Poe.
In 2002, a team of scientists working in one of the world’s largest open-pit coal mines at Cerrejon in La Guajira, Colombia, made an intriguing discovery: a fossilized leaf that hinted at an ancient rainforest from the Paleocene epoch. Over the following decade, collaboration between the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and the University of Florida-Gainesville opened a unique window into perhaps the first rainforest on Earth. Fossil finds included giant turtles and crocodiles, as well as the first known bean plant and some of the earliest banana, avocado and chocolate plants. But their most spectacular discovery was a fossilized vertebra of a previously undiscovered species of snake, one so large it defied description.
David Royle, Executive Vice President of Programming and Production, Smithsonian Channel, said: “Discoveries as dramatic and important as this are extremely rare, and we are excited to bring this story to a global audience. Snakes have always fascinated human beings, and they populate our imagination - whether in the legends of dragons, the Garden of Eden, or Harry Potter. Titanoboa is the mother of all snakes.”
Jasper James, CEO, Wide-Eyed Entertainment commented: “Discoveries as mind-blowing as this don’t come along too often so it’s a real privilege to be able to tell the world this story. We’ve got unique access to the dig and will be capturing paleontological history as it’s made. We’ll be working out how this snake got so big, how it hunted and asking some of the best animators in the world to bring back these lost giants and the world that made them possible. I get real pleasure in knowing that future generations will have a new prehistoric monster to adore. Watch out T-Rex, Titanoboa wants to squeeze you out.”
Elliott Halpern, Executive Producer, yap films added: “The sheer scale of Titanoboa is staggering, demonstrating once again the world still holds mysteries that feel more like the stuff of sci-fi films.”
TITANOBOA: MONSTER SNAKE follows the scientific sleuths back to the mine, into the labs, and on an expedition to understand modern giant constrictors. It creates a picture of the then largest predator on the planet – a creature with the size and character to challenge T-Rex in the public imagination.
ABOUT SMITHSONIAN NETWORKS
Smithsonian Networks (SNI/SI Networks L.L.C.) is a joint venture between Showtime Networks Inc. and the Smithsonian Institution, formed to create channels featuring programs largely inspired by the assets of the Smithsonian Institution, the world’s largest museum complex. Smithsonian Channel features award-winning original documentaries, series, and groundbreaking programs highlighting America’s historical, cultural and scientific heritage. Smithsonian Channel brings the American experience home in high definition and Dolby Digital 5.1 and is available to customers of DirecTV, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Charter Communications, Cablevision, Verizon, AT&T, and more. Learn more at www.smithsonianchannel.com.
ABOUT WIDE-EYED ENTERTAINMENT
Wide-Eyed Entertainment (WEE) is a young independent production company that’s already built a reputation for being in television’s vanguard. Producing content for broadcasters, cinemas, the web and mobile markets, WEE’s speciality is breaking the mould with new visual techniques and a highly original approach to the subject matter.
Recent projects include a fully-animated special called March of the Dinosaurs - a 90-minute film following a 1,000-mile march made by ancient Arctic dinosaurs - and Werewolves - a docudrama that dares to imagine that werewolves aren’t a myth, but live unseen amongst us.