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Theodore Rex (film)

Theodore Rex, also known as T. Rex,[4][5] is a 1995[6] buddy cop science-fiction family film written and directed by Jonathan Betuel and starring Whoopi Goldberg. Though originally intended for theatrical release, the film went direct-to-video, and consequently became the most expensive direct-to-video film ever made at the time of its release.[7][8][9]

Theodore Rex
Theodore Rex Canadian video poster
Directed byJonathan Betuel
Produced byRichard Gilbert Abramson
Sue Baden-Powell
Written byJonathan Betuel
StarringWhoopi Goldberg
Armin Mueller-Stahl
George Newbern
Kenneth Londoner
Music byRobert Folk
CinematographyDavid Tattersall
Edited bySteve Mirkovich
Rick Shaine
Distributed byNew Line Cinema
Release date
  • July 2, 1996 (1996-07-02)
Running time
92 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$33.5 million[2][3]

The film was not well-received,[5][10] and saw Whoopi Goldberg being nominated for Worst Actress at the 1996 Golden Raspberry Awards.[11] It is the first, and so far only, direct-to-video movie to receive any sort of Razzie nomination.[12]


In an alternate futuristic society where humans and anthropomorphic dinosaurs co-exist, a tough police detective named Katie Coltraine (Whoopi Goldberg) is paired with an anthropomorphic Tyrannosaurus named Theodore Rex (George Newbern) to find the killer of dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals leading them to a ruthless billionaire bent on killing off mankind by creating a new ice age.




Additional Voices provided by Billy Bowles, Rodger Bumpass, Jennifer Darling, Denise Dowse, Bill Farmer, Anne Lockhart, Sherry Lynn, Mickie McGowan, Patrick Pinney, and Philip Proctor.


Theodore Rex received negative reviews from critics and audiences. Reviewer Luke Baldock called it "a horrific mess of a movie. It starts with an opening crawl and narration that tells us 'Once upon a time in the future...' already it's losing me."

In a 2015 interview with the Brazilian newspaper Folha de S.Paulo, Goldberg stated that this is the only film she regrets ever having done: "Don't ask me why I did it, I didn't want to", she said.[13]

Goldberg lawsuitEdit

Though Whoopi Goldberg had made a verbal agreement to star in the film in October 1992,[14] she attempted to back out. Abramson filed a US$20 million lawsuit against Goldberg, which was settled quickly. Goldberg agreed to star in the film for $7 million,[2] $2 million more than the amount originally agreed upon.[7]

One of the attorneys on the case described this as being similar to the legal battle of Kim Basinger when she backed out of the film Boxing Helena.[7]


The film was originally intended for theatrical release in North America; New Line Cinema initially wanted to release it to coincide with Goldberg's hosting stint at the Academy Awards that year.[14] New Line ultimately decided that it was in their best interests to release the film direct-to-video. This decision came as a result of failed test screenings in Las Vegas, Memphis, Portland, Maine and Providence.[7][15] The film's $33.5 million budget made it the most expensive direct-to-video release at that time.[7]

The international distributors to whom New Line had pre-sold the rights to the film adopted a different release strategy by distributing theatrically in every country except the United States and Italy.[14]


  1. ^ Blowen, Michael (1996-06-30). "Mel Brooks' 'Dracula' is just not batty enough; THE MOVIE SECTION / Video Watch". The Boston Globe. p. B31.
  2. ^ a b Love, Dennis (1996-04-04). "'Rex' Headed for Extinction?". People. UPI Newswire.
  3. ^ Dutka, Elaine (1996-04-11). "Whoopi's Dino Disaster; Test Audiences Reject $ 33.5 Million Family Comedy". Chicago Sun-Times. p. 33.
  4. ^ "Filming in the U.S.". Daily Variety. 1994-11-18.
  5. ^ a b Griffin, Gil (1997-10-23). "Reading Whoopi Goldberg like a 'Book'". The San Diego Union-Tribune. p. E-1.
  6. ^ Blowen, Michael (1996-06-30). "'Rex': Extinct on the Big Screen". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-07-31.
  7. ^ a b c d e Cox, Dan (1996-04-08). "New Line's dino pic extinct from bigscreen". Daily Variety. p. 9.
  8. ^ Hubert, Andrea (2008-06-14). "The incredible sulk". The Guardian. Retrieved 2008-06-27.
  9. ^ Wilkinson, Jack (1996-07-27). "What's new on the home video scene". United Press International.
  10. ^ Meyers, Randy (1999-02-02). "Direct hits: Lucrative video arena attracting first-run, first-rate". Contra Costa Times.
  11. ^ Scott, Vernon (1997-01-23). "The Hollywood Reporter". UPI Newswire.
  12. ^ Baldock, Luke Ryan (9 August 2012). "10 Terrible Dinosaur Films That Should Be Extinct!".
  13. ^ "'Não há muito espaço para negros por aí', diz Whoopi Goldberg – 25/02/2015 – Ilustrada – Folha de S.Paulo".
  14. ^ a b c Blowen, Michael (1996-06-30). "'Rex': Extinct on the Big Screen". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-07-31.
  15. ^ Klady, Leonard (1996-07-01). "Theodore Rex". Daily Variety. Retrieved 2008-06-28.

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