Jason O’Mara to star in Fox’s ‘Terra Nova’

Spielberg, Chernin exec produce sci-fi series

“Life on Mars” star Jason O’Mara is taking another time travel trip — this time to Fox’s “Terra Nova.”

20th Century Fox TV confirmed late Friday that O’Mara is set to star as Jim Shannon, who guides his family as part of a group of settlers who travel back in time to a colony built in prehistoric Earth.

“Terra Nova” exec producers Brannon Braga and David Fury told Daily Variety that O’Mara has been top of mind as they continue to develop the character — which is why they have actively pursued him in recent weeks for the part.

“Writing the character of Jim Shannon, we’ve thought of Jason O’Mara as something of an archetype,” Braga said. “He has an everyman quality to him, but there’s something dangerous underneath.”

Fury added that he was impressed by O’Mara’s star turn in ABC’s short-lived adaptation of “Life on Mars,” in which he played a modern-day cop stuck in the 1970s.

“I’ve always thought that guy was a star,” Fury said “He just hasn’t found the right property yet.”

O’Mara will next be seen opposite Katherine Heigl in the Lakeshore feature “One for the Money,” which he’s shooting this summer. His other credits include “Marlowe,” “Men in Trees,” and “Band of Brothers.”

Braga and Fury said they’re currently circling several thesps to fill other roles on “Terra Nova,” some of which they hope to secure in the coming weeks.

“We’ve been very deliberate in finding the right people to embody these characters,” Fury said. “There’s a wealth of talent to pull from internationally. We’re looking at all sorts of names, some well-known, some familiar from TV. We’re trying to find the right match and chemistry.

Steven Spielberg, Peter Chernin, Braga and Fury exec produce “Terra Nova,” about humans from the year 2149 who are forced to find a way to save the human race — and discover a rip in the time-space continuum that can send them back to pre-human Earth.

20th produces with DreamWorks TV, Kapital Entertainment and Chernin Entertainment.

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