National Treasure director to make Greenpeace film | The Fan Carpet

National Treasure director to make Greenpeace film

13 November 2009

It started in 1971, when a ramshackle fishing vessel with a ragtag crew of anti-war protesters sailed to a remote island north of Alaska in the hope of disrupting US nuclear weapons tests. Taking its name from the rechristened boat, Greenpeace grew into an environmental movement that is still grabbing the headlines almost four decades on. Now Hollywood plans to put that story on the big screen, with Greenpeace's blessing, and hired the director of National Treasure and the producer of the Airplane and Naked Gun films to do it.

According to Variety, Jon Turteltaub, whose CV also includes Cool Runnings and While You Were Sleeping, has signed to direct, with Jerry and Janet Zucker producing. The trade paper also reports that The West Wing creator Aaron Sorkin has been approached to write the script.

The story will be told through the eyes of Greenpeace's charismatic founders, Bob Hunter and Rex Weyler. The two men led a band of pacifists, ecologists, musicians, teachers, sailors and scientists on missions to halt nuclear testing, block the hunting of whales and seals, and put a stop to the pollution of our seas. It was Hunter who insisted on naming the group Greenpeace, on the basis that it could be easily fitted into a headline.

The film will draw on their seminal accounts – Hunter's Warriors of the Rainbow: A Chronicle of the Greenpeace Movement and Weyler's Greenpeace: How a Group of Ecologists, Journalists, and Visionaries Changed the World. Aurelius Films has also secured Greenpeace's official cooperation.

"We want to look at these unlikely heroes who became activists in spite of themselves," Janet Zucker told Variety. "Jon likes to make a big adventure movies. And we've found that the best way to reach people's hearts and minds is through entertainment."

Bob Hunter was a "counterculture columnist" for the Vancouver Sun when he founded Greenpeace. He became its first president, but left in the late 1980s to return to writing. He was named by Time magazine as one of the 20th century's eco-heroes in 2000. He died of cancer in 2005. Ecologist and journalist Rex Weyler co-founded Greenpeace International in 1979 and still writes and broadcasts today.

Source: Guardian Online

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