The Dinosaur Project Prepares for Launch | Science | Smithsonian

The Dinosaur Project Prepares for Launch

A forthcoming horror film imagines what would happen if a film crew really stumbled onto a dinosaur-filled lost world

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All the non-avian dinosaurs are gone. The last of them died out 66 million years ago. All the same, living dinosaurs – birds – aren’t exactly a substitute for Apatosaurus, Tyrannosaurus, and Stegosaurus. We miss the truly spectacular, bizarre dinosaurs that lived and died so long ago. At least we can catch brief glimpses of our favorite prehistoric creatures in the ever-increasing list of dinosaur movies, and among the upcoming titles is a film that uses actual legends for its launching point.

When I was young, one of the first dinosaur movies I ever saw was Baby: Secret of the Lost Legend. Drawing from myths and unsubstantiated rumors, the film imagined what would happen if scientists discovered living sauropods in the Congo Basin. Indeed, this part of Africa has been the frequent focus of cryptozoologists and creationists who believe that some sort of swamp-dwelling brontosaur is hiding in the swamps and lakes of the region. There’s not even a single shred of evidence that there are sauropods or other dinosaurs in those wetlands, but that hasn’t stopped naive and self-styled explorers from trying to bring a prehistoric beast back alive.

We can still have a little fun with the idea of living sauropods in the realm of fiction, though. Now, almost 30 years after Baby debuted, The Dinosaur Project is taking a darker spin on the same legend.

According to Empire, The Dinosaur Project is another found-footage horror flick that follows a television crew who ultimately stumble upon dinosaurs that were thought to have disappeared millions of years ago. The movie’s official website doesn’t reveal much – it’s just a fake landing page for the “British Cryptozoological Society” with a plea for any information about the missing expedition – although the film’s trailer offers a few glimpses at the various prehistoric creatures that will thin out the cast. Sadly, though, the dinosaurs and other prehistoric beasts look like stiff plastic toys come to life. This isn’t the awesome dinosaur movie we’ve been waiting for, but another piece of stinky movie cheese.

The Dinosaur Project debuts next month in the UK.

 

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About Brian Switek
Brian Switek

Brian Switek is a freelance science writer specializing in evolution, paleontology, and natural history. He writes regularly for National Geographic's Phenomena blog as Laelaps.

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