David Arquette, Jenna Ortega to Star in Elephant Drama ‘Saving Flora’

David Arquette Jenna Ortega
REX/Shutterstock

David Arquette, Jenna Ortega, Tom Arnold, Leonor Varela, and a veteran performing elephant named Tai are starring in the independent family drama “Saving Flora,” Variety has learned exclusively.

Production has begun in Los Angeles with British TV commercial veteran Mark Taylor directing. Producers are Amber Wang (“Rock Dog”), FJ Productions’ Fabio Golombek (“Experimenter,” “Like Sunday Like Rain”), and Brad Billington (“Professional Affair,” “Lethal Cowboy”).

Taylor co-wrote the script for “Saving Flora” with David Moss. The story centers on a 14-year-old girl who kidnaps an elephant from a circus to take it to a nature reserve. Flora is played by Tai, who has been in several other movies, including “Like Water for Elephants.”

The producers have pledged to donate part of the movie proceeds to several organizations that help protect elephants around the world.

Arquette’s acting credits include the “Scream” franchise, “Eight Legged Freaks,” and the upcoming features “The Wheel” and “Amanda & Jack Go Glamping.”

Ortega portrayed Princess Isabel in the “Elena of Avalor” TV series and young Jane on “Jane the Virgin.” Varela can next be seen in “A Little Something for Your Birthday” opposite Famke Janssen, Sharon Stone and Ellen Burstyn, and the indie feature “Alpha,” directed by Albert Hughes.

Arnold’s most recent credits include “Undateable John,” “Hollywood Hustle: LA Player,” and “Pony With a Broken Wing,” opposite Jonathan Silverman and Charisma Carpenter.

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  1. WOW THE COMMENT BELOW IS PRETTY SICK.ANYWAY PEOPLE ARE STARTING TO UNDERSTAND THAT ELEPHANYS AND OTHER WILD ANIMALS HELD FOR MOVIE PROPS AND RIDES ,CICRCUSES ETC ARE BEATEN WITH BULLHOCKS ,CHINED AND TAKEN AWAY FROM THEIR FAMILIES THEIR ELEPHANT FAMILIES THAT THEY BELONG WITH .NOT HUMAN PEOPLE THAT CONTROL THEIR EVERY MOVE.

  2. Katie Hart says:

    Congratulations to Tai and her human family for landing this role! Contrary to what the naysayers think…Tai and the other elephants thrive with their human family. There is ZERO part of them that has any desire to be “free” or at a scamturary. I’ve met Tai and her “sisters” and cannot believe what spectacular creatures they are. Everyone should visit the elephants- you’ll be awestruck! Although their family is unconventional, it’s not wrong and it certainly shouldn’t be broken up because a few people (who know nothing of these particular elephants) don’t like their lifestyle.

  3. isempannakan says:

    Please remember the very animal you are trying to create empathy for was abused for you to make this movie…..If you really want to help elephants get Tai out of the film and entertainment industry and into a sanctuary…please.

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