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Oscar-Award Winning ‘My Octopus Teacher’ Nature Documentarian James Reed to Make Docuseries About De-Extinction Company Colossal, to be Produced by Underdog Films and Teton Ridge Entertainment

DALLAS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–After fielding extensive interest from filmmakers, Colossal Biosciences and production partner Teton Ridge Entertainment have signed with James Reed, director of Oscar-winning Netflix documentary My Octopus Teacher, and his company Underdog Films, to produce a multi-year docuseries following the groundbreaking work of Colossal Biosciences, the world’s first de-extinction company. Reed and producing partner Matt Houghton will executive produce for Underdog, along with Jillian Share for Teton Ridge Entertainment. Michael Dougherty will also executive produce. Specialist observational film-maker Sophie Todd (Formula 1 – Drive To Survive) has joined as Showrunner.

The series will have exclusive access to follow Colossal as it works to bring back iconic extinct species – including the woolly mammoth, the thylacine and dodo bird – and strives to rewild them into their natural habitats. It will have behind the scenes access to Colossal’s whole process – from their groundbreaking work on ancient DNA and genetic engineering to documenting the lives of animals which have not roamed the earth in thousands of years.

In addition to the de-extinction projects, the series will reveal the company’s cutting edge conservation technologies that focus on protecting existing endangered species including working to cure EEHV in elephants, engineering in genetic diversity to save the Northern white rhinos, and leveraging artificial intelligence to better understand animal behavior and rewilding impacts.

“Transparency is core to Colossal’s mission and goals so working with the right filmmakers to chronicle our journey was incredibly important. James is at the forefront of nature focused filmmaking and there is no one better to lead the undertaking,” said Ben Lamm, Colossal co-founder and CEO. “Given his impressive track record, James was the right filmmaker to cover our complex, dynamic and novel story.”

Reed achieved worldwide acclaim with the Netflix 2020 doc My Octopus Teacher, about a South African filmmaker who forges an unexpected friendship with an octopus, which went on to win the Best Documentary Feature award at the Oscars. He directed and produced the critically acclaimed Netflix docuseries Chimp Empire and was a director and creative consultant at the BBC Studios Natural History Unit where he made Frozen Planet 2: Our Frozen Planet. Reed’s past credits also include the multi-award-winning features Jago – A Life Underwater and Rise of the Warrior Apes. Reed and Underdog Films are represented by WME.

“After these past few months with Colossal, I am more excited than ever by the extraordinary work they are doing and what will become an incredible turning point in our history. Their work in de-extinction is fascinating and what’s coming up is unbelievable. I feel very privileged that we have the opportunity to bring this story to the world,” said James Reed.

Executive Producer Michael Dougherty (screenwriter/director of Trick ‘r Treat, Krampus, Godzilla: King of the Monsters) added, “Our world is about to change forever. Extinct species, some of which haven’t walked the earth in thousands of years, are about to return. The thin line between science and science fiction has been erased, and I couldn’t be happier to work with Colossal, Underdog Films, and Teton Ridge Entertainment to tell the stories of the brilliant minds behind this astounding accomplishment.”

Led by President Jillian Share, newly formed Teton Ridge Entertainment produces films, television series, podcasts and new media, both scripted and unscripted.

Said Share of the docuseries, “Colossal’s trailblazing mission to de-extinct animals embodies the pioneering spirit that Teton Ridge Entertainment aims to celebrate. Through the lens of James’s emotional, engrossing storytelling, we are excited to give audiences a front row seat to Colossal’s fascinating scientific discoveries.”

Colossal co-founder and serial biotech entrepreneur George Church added, “It’s terrific to have such a nature-focused, esteemed, and thoughtful team capturing Colossal’s journey to help endangered species via ancient genetic diversity, environmental restoration and conservation.”


Colossal was founded by emerging technology and software entrepreneur Ben Lamm and world-renowned geneticist and serial biotech entrepreneur George Church, Ph.D. Colossal creates disruptive technologies for extinct species restoration, critically endangered species protection and the repopulation of critical ecosystems that support the continuation of life on Earth. Colossal is accepting humanity’s duty to restore Earth to a healthier state, while also solving for the future economies and biological necessities of the human condition through cutting-edge science and technologies. To follow along, please visit:



Hashtag: #ItIsColossal


Through film, television and new media production, Teton Ridge Entertainment produces stories that celebrate the spirit of the American West and all that it represents. It is a division of Teton Ridge, which is comprised of Americana-focused properties in the sports, media, entertainment, lifestyle and equine spaces. Teton Ridge’s mission is to preserve and enhance the ethos of the iconic American West by bringing these offerings to a broader audience in modern, authentic ways. For more information, please see, or follow along on Facebook and Instagram.


Underdog Films is the production company of Academy Award-winning director James Reed. Underdog make character driven feature films and series, across a variety of genres with a specialism in films that explore the relationship between humanity and the natural world.


COLOSSAL: Emily Mailaender at


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