National Geographic Channel has closed a drama series script development deal with Amblin Television, Sony Pictures Television and CrichtonSun for a global limited series based on the soon-to-be-published Michael Crichton manuscript Dragon Teeth. Crichton, who died in 2008, wrote the novel during his most prolific years as a writer and filmmaker, and the book was discovered in his archives by wife Sherri Crichton.

Adapted for television by Graham Yost and Bruce C. McKenna, Crichton’s Dragon Teeth follows the notorious rivalry between real-life paleontologists Edward Drinker Cope and Othniel Charles Marsh during a time of intense fossil speculation and discovery. The story unfolds through the adventures of a young fictional character named William Johnson who is apprenticed first to one, then to the other, and makes discoveries of historical proportion. Crichton uses Marsh and Copes’s heated competition during the “Bone Wars” golden age of American fossil hunting as the basis for a thrilling story set in the American West of 1878.

“This epic tale of science, adventure and exploration from master storyteller Michael Crichton is the perfect scripted project for the network,” Carolyn Bernstein, Nat Geo Channel’s EVP and Head of Global Scripted Development and Production.

“With Amblin, Sony Pictures Television, CrichtonSun and the distinctive creative voices of Graham and Bruce, we are going to tell the dramatic story of these two passionate mavericks, Edward Drinker Cope and Othniel Charles Marsh, and their relentless, passionate, and oftentimes unscrupulous drive in the name of scientific discovery, mixed with the very unique and brilliant Crichton touch and approach.”