Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Avatar co-star Stephen Lang is eyeing time travel in the opposite direction. I hear Lang, who played the baddie in James Cameron’s futuristic sci-fi tale, is in talks for the lead opposite Jason O’Mara on Fox’s prehistoric drama series Terra Nova. He was an early favorite for the role but his feature commitments prevented him from pursuing it until he just became available and received an offer from the Terra Nova producers. (A fun footnote: Terra Nova is originally set in 2149, just 5 years before the events in Avatar.) Lang would play the role of Frank Taylor, the charismatic and ruthless leader of the Terra Nova settlement. Alex Graves is set to direct the pilot for the series.

PREVIOUS 4PM: Terra Nova executive producer David Fury has departed Fox’s upcoming pre-historic drama over creative differences. “He was beloved by the producers on the show, but it just didn’t work out,” a source close to the series said. Showrunner Brannon Braga, who brought Fury over, will now be the drama’s sole writing executive producer as no direct replacement for Fury is planned. Production on Terra Nova, from 20th TV, Chernin Entertainment, Kapital Entertainment and DreamWorks TV, is scheduled to begin in October in Australia. The series, starring Jason O’Mara, will launch in fall 2011 after a preview this coming May.

TV Editor Nellie Andreeva - tip her here.

Get Deadline news and alerts sent to your inbox.