Lifetime Adapting ‘Clan of the Cave Bear’ With Ron Howard, Brian Grazer, Allison Shearmur

The Clan of the Cave Bear

Lifetime has given a pilot order to an adaptation of Jean M. Auel’s prehistorical-set books “The Clan of the Cave Bear.”

The project is a co-production of Fox 21 and Lionsgate in association with Imagine Television and Allison Shearmur Productions. Exec producers are Ron Howard, Brian Grazer, Allison Shearmur, Linda Woolverton, Francie Calfo and Auel. Woolverton, whose credits include children’s and young adult-focused films “Maleficent,” “Alice in Wonderland” and “The Lion King,” will pen the pilot.

“I’ve always admired Jean M. Auel’s timeless work,” said Rob Sharenow, Lifetime’s exec VP and general manager. “With the visionary creative team of Ron Howard, Linda Woolverton, Brian Grazer, Alli Shearmur, Jean M. Auel and Francie Calfo behind it, this project has it all — epic storytelling, great characters and a unique world that’s never been explored on television before. This is exactly the type of top-tier creative talent and great stories we embrace at Lifetime.”

The adaptation of the six-book series, which centers on a young girl who fights for survival in a world where Neanderthals share the Earth with the first early modern humans, is in line with Sharenow’s mission to elevate Lifetime’s brand. The cable channel gained social media buzz earlier this year with adaptations of the first two books in V.C. Andrews’ “Flowers in the Attic” series. Last winter, it simultaneously broadcast the movie biopic “Bonnie & Clyde” with sister cablers A&E and History. Upcoming scripted projects include dystopian thriller series “The Lottery” from “Children of Men” co-writer Timothy J. Sexton and a movie adaptation of the Stephen King novella “Big Driver” that will star Maria Bello.

“Clan of the Cave Bear” is targeted for a potential 2015 launch. A film version, which starred Daryl Hannah and James Remar, was released in 1986.

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  1. Avis says:

    So what happened? I loved that series…in the beginning. I certainly haven’t seen any advertisements for it on Lifetime.

  2. Leon says:

    I’m interested
    Have read and loved the series
    should be awesome

  3. Linda says:

    Really looking forward to this. Read the first book 30 years ago and just this year reread it and the rest of the series.

  4. CHERE' says:


  5. Lili says:

    Is this still in the works? After the disaster of the movie, I wonder if they can do better on TV.

  6. Jaci says:

    When is the movie scheduled to air?

  7. Beverly says:

    Yes! Love the books. I hope the series keep true to Jean Aren’t books.

  8. Joan says:

    So happy to hear this I loved the series it should be required reading in 6th or 7th grade look forward to watching it

  9. Lynn says:

    I jus tstarted rereading the series again! So excited that it will be coming to lifetime. Love these books and looking forward to seeing what they are going to do!!

  10. Jen says:

    This is something I have been waiting for. The story is amazing. I hope that every single details on the book is shown in the show.

  11. longly says:

    I feel that the best way to tell the story would be from the point of view of a very old Ayla who tell the story of life to her great grand children and their friends. That would allow narration which is useful when adapting a book and give the writers great freedom to present stories from different time periods in Ayal’s life and even add new stories.

  12. longly says:

    It may not be great anthropology, but it is great story, so please don’t screw it up. Don’t use subtitles.

  13. Ayla Frerichs says:

    This would be awesome!!

  14. I’ve read the series, eagerly awaiting each new book, since TCOTC, came out in 1980. What did you mean by ‘lived in that world for an entire year’ Do you have access to some sort of Time Machine? :)
    I take it you meant, upon discovering the series in the not to distant past. You read the 6 books, one after another. Taking about a year to do so.
    As Saoirse Ronan goes. You might want to check out her resent film ‘How I live now’. It is about a somewhat emo American teenager, sent to the English for the summer. To stay with relatives that live in the countryside, An after a a nuclear bomb goes off in all to nearby London. She has to fight for her and her cousins survival. Finding love and real purpose, in doing so.

  15. Marc Mortinson says:

    I guess the next question is, who will they get to play Ayla? Saoirse Ronan, who is only 20, would be my 1st choice. Her movie ‘Hanna’ proves she could handle the physicality, that the role would demand.

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