EXCLUSIVE: Oscar Sharp, a celebrated director of short films that include The Karman Line and Sign Language, has come attached to direct Woolly: The True Story of the De-Extinction of One of History’s Most Iconic Creatures. That is the book being written by Ben Mezrich that Fox acquired this week, based on a pitch and partial manuscript by the writer whose books informed the movies 21 and The Social Network. Temple Hill partners Wyck Godfrey and Marty Bowen are producing.
Sharp’s take was a big part of getting the movie set up at Fox, which was eager to be in business with him and became convinced he would elevate this beyond a regurgitation of Jurassic Park. Sharp’s pitch gave a heavy science grounding to a tale in which a geneticist and his team of young Harvard scientists set out to bring the woolly mammoth back from extinction. Their goal is to populate a huge tract of the Siberian tundra (known as Pleistocene Park) as a hedge against a ticking time bomb that’s hidden deep within the permafrost. What could go wrong?
Independent Talent Group, UTA and Echo Lake Management rep Sharp. Woolly would be a big step up in scope, similar to the one that Colin Trevorrow made when he moved from Safety Not Guaranteed to Jurassic World, which got him the job helming Star Wars IX. Sharp is a British filmmaker who drew strong attention for The Karman Line, a nearly 25-minute short film in which a housewife (Broadchurch‘s Olivia Colman) suddenly begins slowly levitating in the air. As her husband and daughter try to carry on, mum is told she eventually will rise to the Karman line, which separates Earth from space. Here is the short: