Warner Bros is working on not one but two high-profile films about the illegal poaching and trafficking in endangered animals around the world. Both projects are being produced by Tobey Maguire‘s Material Pictures, Leonardo DiCaprio‘s Appian Way and Tom Hardy‘s Executive Options. I don’t know if both of these projects get made, but at a time when Hollywood studios are preoccupied with pretend crises like zombies and vampires, bravo for a major to step up and try to weave in a global problem like ivory trafficking into a drama.
The first project is being written by Up In The Air co-writer Sheldon Turner as a star vehicle for Hardy, based on an idea by the Dark Knight Rises and Warrior star. The untitled film is set in Africa and the aim is for Hardy to play a former Special Forces soldier who signs on with a friend to work in the bush, training rangers to fight off the poachers decimating the rhino and elephant populations in Zimbabwe. The soldier falls in love with the land, and the animals he is trying to save. Given his skill set, this spells bad news for the poachers. Also producing is Dean Baker, who is Hardy’s producing partner, and Paul Grey, along with Hardy, Maguire and DiCaprio. Hardy is working with Turner and producers Jennifer Klein and Dave Bartis on Everest, the Sony film that Doug Liman intends to direct, with Hardy playing British climber George Mallory and his attempts to become the first man to scale Everest and make it back alive. (more…)