I always thought that Captain Kirk and Spock were the greatest environmentalists around, but apparently they are nothing compared to Bob Hunter and Rex Weyler, founders of Greenpeace. Now Jon Turteltaub of National Treasure fame is directing a movie based on the origins of their movement, with Jerry and Janet Zucker producing. Variety has some details:
Set primarily in the late 1970s and early 1980s, story will be told through the eyes of the controversial organization’s charismatic founding members, Bob Hunter and Rex Weyler. The duo led an eccentric group of pacifists, ecologists, musicians, teachers, sailors, and scientists as they attempted — often successfully — to disrupt American and French nuclear bomb tests, Japanese and Russian whaling ships and Norwegian infant harp seal hunters. In the process, they inadvertently started a movement that is still going strong nearly four decades later.
The film will primarily be based on two books, Weyler’s Greenpeace: How a Group of Ecologists, Journalists, and Visionaries Changed the World and Hunter’s Warriors of the Rainbow: A Chronicle of the Greenpeace Movement (it never fails that all non-fiction books inevitably have an unintuitive subtitle). I’m not too excited by the director (though with a name like Turteltaub, he sounds very animal friendly), but Aaron Sorkin (A Few Good Men, The West Wing, Charlie Wilson’s War) is a leading candidate for writer.
“We want to look at these unlikely heroes who became activists in spite of themselves,” said Janet Zucker, who envisions the film as large-canvas pic but with an environmental message. “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.”
Greenpeace has been labeled too extreme and radical for some, though if you’ve ever seen the TV documentary Whale Wars, you’d know that Paul Watson was even too extreme for them and was dismissed from the organization. Eco-activists always end up being very exciting, except for Al Gore, perhaps, who can make global warming sound about as scary as a day on the beach.