The Discovery Channel has announced today a new mini-series project called Future Earth to be co-developed with Steven Spielberg, DreamWorks Television and DreamWorks Animation. Their goal is to wrangle together as many scientists, futurists and artists as they can find to create a dramatized mini-series that posits what life on this pale blue dot will be like in the next 25, 50, and 100 years. From the press release:

"We are all enormous fans of what Discovery did with PLANET EARTH and LIFE, and how they were able to expose us to the world around us in a way we had never seen it before. With FUTURE EARTH, we endeavor to do the same with the world of the future," said Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey, Co-Heads of DreamWorks Television and Executive Producers on the project.

And that is exactly where I start to get concerned about the project. Discovery sabotaged both Planet Earth and Life by taking the absolutely brilliant work done by the BBC and David Attenborough and losing several sequences to make room for more advertisements. Plus, they dropped Attenborough's narration entirely. It boggles my mind to think that the network finds the unenthusiastic voice of Oprah Winfrey or Sigourney Weaver to be appropriate replacements for the passionate and insightful oration of Attenborough.

I suppose that's neither here nor there, though, as the real reason to get excited for Future Earth is the involvement of DreamWorks Animation and Spielberg. With their vast resources on tap, we can at least expect Future Earth to be a bit more polished and exciting than both 2057 and Visions of the Future, two very similar programs from Discovery's past hosted by Michio Kaku, the theoretical physicist who also gave Spielberg a hand envisioning the future Minority Report.
categories Movies, Sci-Fi