For her next role, Drew Barrymore is headed north to Alaska to help recreate a dramatic 1988 rescue of three trapped California grey whales.

The movie, titled "Whales" (previously "Everybody Loves Whales") will feature the actress as a Greenpeace activist working with both the Soviet and United States governments, eco-activists, oil executives, and others to help free the massive mammals trapped under ice.

According to Ecorazzi, a Soviet icebreaker ended up saving the day -- with the incident helping to trigger a ‘Cold War thaw’ between Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Regan.

For her part, Barrymore is intending to completely immerse herself in the role. "It’s a really really amazing story and I’m really excited about going to do it," she told MTV News. "I’m going to pour myself into it."

The movie is based on the 1989 book "Freeing the Whales: How the Media Created the World's Greatest Non-Event" by author Tom Rose. The film will also feature "The Office" star John Krasinski and "Forgetting Sarah Marshall's" Kristen Bell. It's slated for a 2012 release.

Michael d'Estries ( @michaeldestries ) covers science, technology, art, and the beautiful, unusual corners of our incredible world.