Back in November, Variety reported that Inferno Entertainment was casting into production an “action thriller” titled “Whale Warrior” about the early days of Paul Watson with Greenpeace and the creation of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.
“During his career, Paul has been called both a hero and a terrorist, refusing to be defined by anything but his mission to conserve and protect marine life. We are thrilled to bring this complex and thought-provoking character to the big screen,” Inferno partner Bill Johnson said.
That something like this is coming to the big screen isn’t that surprising. Back in 2008, immediately after Heath Ledger passed away, it was revealed that he had been in discussions to play the role of Captain Watson in a movie directed by Stuart Townsend.
“The movie 'Mighty Hearts' could have had Ledger as Capt. Watson ramming driftnet fishing trawlers, smashing illegal whaling boats and sailing boldly into Soviet waters in his bid to stop whalers,” The West reported. “Kroonenburg said Ledger would have been perfect for the lead role in the film, now in pre-production, as he was a gifted actor who had a genuine interest in whales and had demonstrated a capacity to “age beautifully” in 'Brokeback Mountain'.”
Last weekend, Watson let slip that Ewan McGregor is the latest rumored actor to portray him — something that seems to be confirmed by the New York Times' official page for "Ocean Warrior: The Paul Watson Story."
“The making of this movie has been a project in Hollywood since 1981 when Tony Bill first bought the rights from me for Warner Brothers,” wrote Watson in a Facebook posting. “The option rights have been purchased every year but now finally it looks promising, with a written script and serious pre-production work."
"Over the years a number of actors have requested to play my part including Sean Penn, Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Aiden Quinn, Rutger Hauer, Clive Owens, etc. As of now it looks like Ewan McGregor. I think he will do a good job, although I would love to see long time Sea Shepherd supporter Christian Bale take the part. As for a leading lady my favourite actress has always been Sophie Marceau, but the choice is not mine unfortunately.”
Watson adds that filming is slated to begin sometime in 2011 in Australia.