Turteltaub takes on Greenpeace

Jerry and Janet Zucker set to produce film

“National Treasure” helmer Jon Turteltaub is on board to direct a bigscreen project chronicling the origin of the Greenpeace movement, with Jerry and Janet Zucker producing.

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.

Aurelius Films is financing development of the project, and the company’s Matthew Joynes and Jesse Kennedy are also serving as producers. Joynes, who has secured the organization’s official cooperation, has acquired the rights to two books that will shape the narrative: 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.”

The producers are looking to hire a writer for the project and have had early discussions with Aaron Sorkin.

“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.”

The Zuckers, who are active in the stem cell research arena as well as environmental causes, produced the upcoming Doug Liman-helmed spy drama “Fair Game,” starring Naomi Watts and Sean Penn.

Turteltaub is also producing via his Junction Entertainment.

Junction’s Karim Zreik and Dan Shotz are exec producing alongside Keri Selig.

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