Two dinosaurs stand by a still body of water in a verdant green clearing.

Life on Our Planet

Steven Spielberg and the creators of Our Planet team up to tackle the story of life.

22 August 20233 min read

There’s a reason no one has attempted to bring the story of life to the screen since BBC broadcaster Sir David Attenborough’s 1979 documentary Life on Earth. “That series made waves at the time but no one has touched that subject since,” executive producer Keith Scholey says. “It’s too big a story to tell.”

However, after Scholey and fellow executive producer Alastair Fothergill finished work on the Emmy-winning first season of nature docuseries Our Planet, also narrated by Attenborough, they decided to take on the daunting subject in a new project: Life on Our Planet. “The story of life is the very best story in nature,” says Fothergill. Dan Tapster (MythBusters) also joined as showrunner, having grown up watching and loving Life on Earth.

Technological changes, such as C.G.I., and scientific advancements, particularly around climate change, have exploded Life on Our Planet’s storytelling capability. “We know more about the ancient world than ever before,” says Tapster. “It’s all there, just waiting to be told!” 

To tell this story as accurately and cinematically as possible, Tapster, Scholey, and Fothergill partnered with an exceptional team, including wildlife cinematographer Jamie McPherson, Steven Spielberg’s production arm Amblin Television, Industrial Light & Magic, and actor Morgan Freeman, who lends his epic voice as narrator. “Freeman has become something of the voice of God,” Fothergill says. “To tell the story of life, a story that is big, profound, dramatic, relevant, his voice fits perfectly.”

Life on Our Planet couples a celebration of the natural world with a challenge to viewers to protect it. As Scholey puts it: “By understanding our past, we can help shape our future. The sixth mass extinction that we’re currently living through is the first one created by an animal and also the first one that can be averted completely. With the other ones, there was nothing that was going to stop them. The story of life is full of chaos where you never know what’s going to happen. Yet there’s one consistent thing: Life always finds a way.”

Watch the teaser trailer for Life on Our Planet