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By Matt Grobar
Stampede Ventures has optioned rights to the first three books in the bestselling non-fiction series The Alpha Wolves of Yellowstone, tapping Zack Stentz (Thor) and his wolf advocate brother Will Stenberg to script a film adaptation.
Published by Greystone Books, the books hail from retired National Park ranger Rick McIntyre. Stentz and Geoff Clark will co-produce through their production company Electric Brain Entertainment, with McIntyre to consult on the project.
Over the course of his four decades observing wolves in the wild, including 28 in Yellowstone National Park, McIntyre has recorded over 100,000 wolf sightings, more than any other person on the planet. A renowned wolf behaviorist, he was one of the first park rangers to work on the Yellowstone Wolf Reintroduction Project and educate the public about the park’s wolves.
In his books The Rise of Wolf 8, The Reign of Wolf 21, and The Redemption of Wolf 302, McIntyre brings readers into the wilds of Yellowstone, providing intimate and gripping portraits of three remarkable alpha wolves and their packs across several generations. McIntyre was recently featured on the popular NPR radio program and podcast This American Life, where he discussed the famous Wolf 8 and his own life and career in Yellowstone.
In a statement to Deadline, McIntyre explained that Yellowstone’s Wolf 8 “was bullied when young but grew up to be one of our greatest alpha males.” He later adopted “fatherless pup” Wolf 21, who developed a “long term relationship with female alpha wolf 42,” seeing his story shift in the end to the “quest” he goes on when he loses her. “21’s nephew, wolf 302, continually messed things up for himself, but late in life became a great hero,” McIntyre explained. “Zack Stentz is the perfect choice to bring these epic stories to the screen.”
Stentz shared that he’s been “obsessed with his stories of the Yellowstone wolves” ever since his brother sent him an interview with McIntyre. “As described in his books, the wolves’ rivalries, loves, and power struggles read more like the saga of feuding royal families than an account of wild animal behavior,” he said. “And when a Twitter thread about his research unexpectedly went viral, I was lucky enough to get to know Rick, which made me even more passionate to adapt his books and bring his stories of Yellowstone’s alpha wolves to the world.”
“As a national park lover, the new generations of wolves in Yellowstone are so fascinating,” added Stampede Ventures’ Founder and CEO, Greg Silverman. “Rick’s genuine interest in these amazing endangered creatures really drives home to so many people who want to learn more about them. We are excited to bring this history lesson and compelling wolf hierarchy saga to animal lovers worldwide with the message that humans really do affect the environments they move to. With Zack on board, we are looking to pull at heartstrings and encourage viewers to be mindful of these captivating predators.”
A lifelong lover of the outdoors, Stentz created Netflix’s animated series Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous and has also contributed to the writing of films like X-Men: First Class and Thor. A consulting producer on The CW’s The Flash who also wrote several episodes, he was also part of the writing and producing teams for the shows Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles and Fringe.