Morgan Freeman Leaps for Conservation at ‘Island of Lemurs: Madagascar’ Premiere

Morgan Freeman at the "Island of
Angela Weiss/Getty Images

Last time Drew Fellman and David Douglas teamed with Morgan Freeman in 2011, they had the Oscar-winning actor narrate “Born to Be Wild,” their IMAX 3D documentary about orphaned animals. So it was only natural when Fellman returned as writer-director for another documentary about wildlife in peril, “Island of Lemurs: Madagascar,” they brought back both Freeman and Douglas, who stepped in as director after serving as director of photography on “Wild.”

“Once again, it’s a story about courageous individuals engaged in acts of heroism to save some magnificent creatures,” said Freeman at Warner Bros.’ world premiere for “Lemurs” Saturday afternoon at Los Angeles’ California Science Center. “It made sense to turn to this same group of people to tell this kind of story.”

This time the hero of the story is primatologist Patricia Wright, who fights to protect the fragile ecosystem of the lemurs, who have been around since the time of the dinosaurs. But with their numbers dwindling to dangerous levels, it’s films like “Lemurs” that she hopes raises awareness and funds that will help boost her efforts.

“We’re hoping this can help save them,” she said at the premiere. “They are on the brink of extinction.”

“If I’ve helped her just a little bit, then I feel like I’ve done my part,” said Douglas.

Staying true to a film about animals who leap on paws that seem to have springs inside them, the after-party featured trampolines with harnesses. In attendance along with their children included Mayor Eric Garcetti, Scott Foley, Jason Priestley, Boris Kodjoe and Nicole Ari Parker.

Introducing the film on the venue’s giant IMAX screen, Freeman said of Wright, “Patricia Wright is our inspiration and our guiding light, and I mean that literally because she has the best flashlights in Madagascar.”

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