Jordan Roberts, ‘March of the Penguins’

The Nominees: Documentaries

When Mark Gill, head of Warner Independent Pictures, hired Roberts to adapt the narration for U.S. release of “March of the Penguins,” he presented the scribe with a unique challenge. The original French version used actors to give voice to the “thoughts” of the penguins.

Roberts’ mandate was to connect to an American audience. “The film was a huge success in France, but we came to the decision pretty early on that while there was an emotional component to these birds’ lives, it was moving too far to actually hear their thoughts and feelings,” he says. With Luc Jacquet’s blessing, Jordan placed the film in third person.

The writer had 10 to 12 weeks to write, research (in partnership with National Geographic) and record the narration before the film’s June release. “We didn’t have time to finesse Morgan Freeman’s narration, so I did six versions with my voice. What I found is that moving a line a half a second later or earlier made a huge impact on whether it was funny or emotional or just a piece of objective fact.”

More Film

  • Blade Runner 2049

    Oscars: 'The Last Jedi,' 'Blade Runner 2049' and More Advance in VFX Race

    When Mark Gill, head of Warner Independent Pictures, hired Roberts to adapt the narration for U.S. release of “March of the Penguins,” he presented the scribe with a unique challenge. The original French version used actors to give voice to the “thoughts” of the penguins. Roberts’ mandate was to connect to an American audience. “The […]

  • Eliza Hittman Penny Lane

    Eliza Hittman, Penny Lane Snag Rooftop Films Grants (EXCLUSIVE)

    When Mark Gill, head of Warner Independent Pictures, hired Roberts to adapt the narration for U.S. release of “March of the Penguins,” he presented the scribe with a unique challenge. The original French version used actors to give voice to the “thoughts” of the penguins. Roberts’ mandate was to connect to an American audience. “The […]

  • Ashleigh Cummings6th Annual Australians in Film

    Ashleigh Cummings Joins Warner Bros.' 'The Goldfinch' Adaptation (EXCLUSIVE)

    When Mark Gill, head of Warner Independent Pictures, hired Roberts to adapt the narration for U.S. release of “March of the Penguins,” he presented the scribe with a unique challenge. The original French version used actors to give voice to the “thoughts” of the penguins. Roberts’ mandate was to connect to an American audience. “The […]

  • Alamo Drafthouse Launching Video Rental Store

    Alamo Drafthouse Launching Video Rental Store in 2018 (EXCLUSIVE)

    When Mark Gill, head of Warner Independent Pictures, hired Roberts to adapt the narration for U.S. release of “March of the Penguins,” he presented the scribe with a unique challenge. The original French version used actors to give voice to the “thoughts” of the penguins. Roberts’ mandate was to connect to an American audience. “The […]

  • No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No

    Box Office: Fathom Events Sees Soaring 2017 Performance (EXCLUSIVE)

    When Mark Gill, head of Warner Independent Pictures, hired Roberts to adapt the narration for U.S. release of “March of the Penguins,” he presented the scribe with a unique challenge. The original French version used actors to give voice to the “thoughts” of the penguins. Roberts’ mandate was to connect to an American audience. “The […]

  • The CastPoveri ma ricchissimi movie photocall,

    Italian Moviegoers Shrug Off Sexual Misconduct Allegations Against Director Fausto Brizzi

    When Mark Gill, head of Warner Independent Pictures, hired Roberts to adapt the narration for U.S. release of “March of the Penguins,” he presented the scribe with a unique challenge. The original French version used actors to give voice to the “thoughts” of the penguins. Roberts’ mandate was to connect to an American audience. “The […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content