The Bone Wars

Ilana Rozin, Writer 
Megan Carroll, Writer 

Sloan Grant(s) Received: 2019, Screenwriting Award, USC 

Project Type: Feature 

Genre: Historical Satire, Adventure 

Length: 110 minutes 

Field of Science: Paleontology 

Stage: Completed 


Our story begins millions of years ago, on the edge of the sea that once covered the American West. Dinosaurs roam the earth when suddenly, mythical Thunder Beings appear in the sky and cast a giant wave, destroying everything. Cut to the same landscape—now called Wyoming, in the 1860s. A storm washes away a slope, and two railway workers discover a dinosaur bone jutting out of the mud. Meanwhile, on the East Coast, two paleontologists begin an unlikely partnership. Cope is a young, flirtatious wunderkind; Marsh is a respected albeit cantankerous scientist. Their friendship sours when Marsh embarrasses Cope in front of the preeminent paleontology scholar of the day. The two men head west, separately, eager to be the first to uncover a mythological fossil. Their former partnership turns into a rivalry and soon escalates into an all-out war as Cope and Marsh decimate their personal savings and professional reputations.