by Michael dEstries
Categories: Animals, Film/TV
Tags: .

It appears that Paramount has found their Paul Watson.

The 60-year-old anti-whaling captain, currently tangling with the Japanese whaling fleet in the Antarctic, recently let slip that Ewan McGregor has been cast to play him in an upcoming film about his early days — from Greenpeace to the founding of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.

“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,” writes Watson. “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.”

Waton’s news is apparently legit, as the NY Times page for “Ocean Warrior: The Paul Watson Story” has been updated to reflect McGregor’s involvement.

Personally, I believe the 39-year-old is a great pick; especially since he has the proven talent to really tackle a role and sell the character. Let’s hope the script being penned by Keith Ross Leckie (“To Walk With Lions”) and Julie Allan (“The Prince of Cool”) is solid — since we all know from the Star Wars prequels that even McGregor’s acting chops can be wasted on crap writing.

According to Watson, filming for “Ocean Warrior” is slated to begin in Australia sometime this year.

via Planet Ocean Alliance

About Michael dEstries

Michael has been blogging since 2005 on issues such as sustainability, renewable energy, philanthropy, and healthy living. He regularly contributes to a slew of publications, as well as consulting with companies looking to make an impact using the web and social media. He lives in Ithaca, NY with his family on an apple farm.

View all posts by Michael dEstries →
  • Michael Raymer

    OK, so to recap, we have three boats, an unprecedented tactical advantage over the whalers, plenty of fuel and provisions,…..and a movie starring Obi-Wan. A certain optimism about the future of anti-whaling is in order here, I think.

    • Michael Raymer

      Now if we could just get GreenPeace involved…..(rimshot)

      • Michel Buxton

        Greedpeace err, I mean Greenpeace is not going to send any ships the Arctic Sunrise is working on it’s tan in the Bahamas, and the Esperanza is smoking pot in Amsterdam… And yet Greedpeace is has a page on their website “Help us end whaling, we need your help! Donate today! but yet they are not sending any ships.

      • herwin

        keep it up the anti greenpeace propaganda, really mature.
        did it ever occur to you that there are several ways to end whaling ? one is sending ships like SeaShepherd does, another one is political pressuring and lobbying, maybe thats not all that romantic and hardly is the stuff that movies are made from, but it works, just look at the recent ban of seal products in the European Union.
        And last but not least, only Greenpeace has active japanese members who have spend a long time in jail because of exposing the japanese whale meat fraud.
        I am not a Greenpeace member and i prefer SS tactics, but every time i see people bashing another group with unfair (like “they are smoking pot in Amsterdam”) comments, i feel the need to give them some credit.

      • Michael Raymer

        You make a very valid point herwin. I don’t want to imply that GreenPeace doesn’t get anything worthwhile done. But it has become clear to me that when it comes to Antarctic whaling, the SSCS way is the only effective way. And no one is saying that GreenPeace has to go throw butyric acid at anyone. All they have to do is send a vessel, or use their ample funding to charter one or more vessels to act as spotters. They don’t have to get within a mile of the whalers, they would just have to relay their location. Even then, they do not specifically have to relay that information to Sea Shepherd. They can just set up a public website and post the coordinates there, for anyone to read. w w w.thisiswherethewhalersare . com. SSCS then can pursue the whaling fleet more effetively.

        But no. They want our donation, but they are not doing anything useful to stop whaling. People can treat the Tokyo Two like they are a big deal to the end of whaling, but I think they’re more of a fire in a frying pan.

      • Michel Buxton

        Greenpeace’s funding is about x5 more than Sea Shepherd (Sea Shepherd is $8 million) so that makes Greenpeace’s funding about $40 million to hold up a bunch of yellow signs…

        I like Michael Raymer’s idea: “w w w.thisiswherethewhalersare . com” because that can really help. But I would like to see Greenpeace to grow some balls and block the the slipway of the Nisshin Maru thats all they need to do, but their ship in the way so that they can’t load any whales, they don’t have to throw any thing, they don’t have to ram any ships, and they don’t have to board any ships all they need to do is simply block the slipway.

        Herwin, When I said “Esperanza is smoking pot in Amsterdam…” I said that as a joke be Amsterdam is the drug capital of the world… and political pressuring and lobbying is all good but it’s not enough they need to send their ships and work hand in hand with Sea Shepherd.

      • Michael Raymer

        I like where your head is at Michael. But I don’t mind if GreenPeace has cold feet about active engagement. Not everyone can be Paul Watson.

        To elaborate on my earlier post, GreenPeace can help out with reconnaissance without making a big deal, or even going public about it. You don’t need the Esperanza or any other “frontline” ship. Just charter a small but seaworthy boat with a crew of, say, 6 or 8. They go out, try to spot the whalers, if they do they call it in. No engagement, they don’t even need to get all that close. Hell, with the money GreenPeace has, they could charter 2 or 3 boats like this and the money would hardly amount to petty cash.

        But no. GreenPeace doesn’t even want to acknowledge SSCS, but they want everyone to pony up a donation for GreenPeace’s “anti-whaling” efforts.

        Maybe the political dimension is the way to go in other areas but, in the Southern Ocean the only way to stop whaling is to stop the whalers.

      • km

        I saw video of GP back in the day and they did some pretty impressive albeit risky stuff. Dare I say much ballsier than what the Sea Shepherd is doing.

        They have given their reason as to why they stopped doing that. It wouldn’t make sense for them to help out the Sea Shepherd if they think those tactics aren’t the way to go. I think they handle the situation quite respectfully.

        It’s disappointing to see Paul Watson constantly putting them down. They each have chosen a path that they think is best. Respect it. Those of you who don’t aren’t helping the cause much either especially as you’re the same people who can’t take any criticism when lodged against Sea Shepherd. Double standards are lame.

      • Michael Raymer

        “I think they handle the situation quite respectfully.”

        If that is something you value then more power to you. I don’t want to respect whalers. I don’t want to respect their viewpoint. I honestly don’t think that “respect” is going to help save whales. I think that any “respect” towards the pro-whalers is going to further their cause and not the whales.

        One of the reasons Antarctic whaling occurs is because no one else goes there and there is no way of enforcing treaties, laws, boundaries or policies. The whalers kill whales because no one is there to stop them, and they know it. Bureaucrats in offices aren’t going to stop anyone who wants to from going to the Antarctic to slaughter whales. That is why it takes direct intervention where the crime is being committed.

        “especially as you’re the same people who can’t take any criticism when lodged against Sea Shepherd.”

        I suggest you get to know the people you make accusations against. I have made critisisms against SSCS in the past. Others have also. Many of us here are not “pro-SSCS”, but are “pro-whale” and we support SSCS because they are the most effective pro-whale organisation. Please believe me when I say that nothing would make me happier than to become a GreenPeace supporter again. The obligation of making me so is theirs, not mine.

      • km

        You misunderstood or perhaps I didn’t write it very well but I meant Greenpeace handles the situation with Sea Shepherd respectfully.

        As to what Greenpeace can or can’t do, I think you are making certain assumptions. You could be right but I wouldn’t state as fact that they can do certain things. Maybe they have legitimate reasons as to why they can’t. And they are fighting against whaling. You may not agree with how they are doing it. They’re not claiming to be in the Southern Ocean but not. You also believe politics are not the way to go but they must or else why do you think they stopped their direct action campaign? Do you support Paul Watson’s claim that he’ll stop whaling by bankrupting the Japanese or do you just support their direct action because whales aren’t caught when they are engaging in the direct action?

        As to your other point, I apologize for the assumptions I made. I understand if you support the Sea Shepherd whaling campaign but perhaps not everything they do. Or don’t do, like their so called Gulf Rescue Campaign. They collected money for that and promised a ship, I think, and I have yet to see that. For them to criticize Greenpeace for doing the same is wrong. I haven’t researched other campaigns on their website like Blue Rage or their seals so perhaps they did do as promised there.

        Any opinion on Oceana? Not necessarily as to whaling but as being above the line? I’m scared as to what I’ll uncover about them.

      • Michael Raymer

        ” Do you support Paul Watson’s claim that he’ll stop whaling by bankrupting the Japanese or do you just support their direct action because whales aren’t caught when they are engaging in the direct action?”

        Both. Your question also serves as an accurate statement as to the effectiveness of SSCS strategy and tactics. I support both aspects of your question.

        “Or don’t do, like their so called Gulf Rescue Campaign.”

        ” I haven’t researched other campaigns on their website like Blue Rage or their seals so perhaps they did do as promised there.”

        You should read what is posted about the Gulf Rescue. Maybe you’ll be satisfied by what you see, maybe you won’t.

        “Any opinion on Oceana? Not necessarily as to whaling but as being above the line? I’m scared as to what I’ll uncover about them.”

        All I know about Oceana is what I see on their website. I don’t see any need to be scared about them. If they’re not your cup of tea, ignore them. If people don’t like SSCS, they can ignore them, too. It’s these people who take some form of personal dislike for Watson and try to demonize the work he does, because of it, that get on my nerves.

        And that brings me to my last point about GreenPeace. There is an inter-operational affliction throughout the world called the N.I.H. Syndrome. Not-Invented-Here. I think the root of GreenPeace’s decision to disavow all SSCS actions comes from the fact that GreenPeace hates someone else doing something to get headlines, that they are unwilling to do themselves. I think that down deep, they understand the effectiveness of Watson’s actions, they just can’t grow up and admit it.

  • Eva

    Wow, I had no idea they were planning a movie. Very cool… definitely looking forward to watching it!

  • romika3

    Gee, folks two actors now

    • crumpets are yummy

      I cant wait to see who they cast as Glen Inwood…

  • Omar

    I’m involved in Ocean Warrior and at this stage I can say it’s not quite confirmed yet. Media jumping ahead as usual. :-)

    • km

      Here is a website reporting it but somewhat supporting your statement. This will sound mean but the comments are so funny. Clearly people here either worship Paul Watson or seem to have a lot of hate for the guy. I personally have no respect for him but do not hate him.
      Regardless, it’ll be interesting to see who stars as him. I’d consider watching it for the footage of Norway, Antarctica, New Foundland… His crew is very fortunate to have had the opportunity, means and time to see these places.

  • Kimitake Hiraoka

    Is this some kind of joke? The weight gain required of Ewan McGregor to play this role will be devastating to his health.

    How regrettable that this attention seeking tart is being rewarded for his violent, deceptive and misanthropic ways with the feature film he’s been craving for years.

    Both Paramount and Mr McGregor should be ashamed of themselves for lending support and credibility to this abysmal individual.

    • Michael Raymer

      Kimmy’s back and there’s gonna be trouble.
      Hey-na, hey-na, Kimmy’s back.

      Whaddup Kimmy? Long time, no see. Happy belated holidays.

      So yeah, lots to catch up on. Hmmm, where to start? Well, SSCS is down in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary as we speak, issuing the whalers an ass-kicking of biblical proportions. The whalers are looking pretty feeble this year, what with not being able to find a supply ship. They got off to a late start and are so busy running like a bunch of…Ponsy Hairdressers….from Sea Shepherd. And Ewan McGregor is about to go all Obi-Wan on some wussy-hero whaler ass!

      So, what’s been going on with you?

  • Hart Noecker

    Of all those decent actors, none bare the slightest resemblance to Paul as McGregor. Obviously Health Ledger would have been mosts’ first choice. Here’s hoping the public finally gets the real back story behind Paul and other eco-warriors so lacking on that cable program from the same network that brought us ‘Caribou Barbie’s Alaska’.

    • romika3

      You mean they don’t look like Lycodichthys antarcticus eelpouts.


      Best I’ve seen would be Phillip Seymour Hoffman. He looks EXACTLY like Paul in “pirate radio”.

  • romika3

    Our issue is with Watson’s and other organizations methods. Basically the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is NOT a conservation organization. They have no programs, they lie and distort data, the use terror and terrorist tactics to achieve their goals, they promote terror has a tool for change, they claim to deal with poachers yet they attack legal fisheries, on day Watson is one thing the next day he is another, Watson and the SSCS are not supported by the UN, they have NOT been given a mandate by anybody, any government or any NGO to do what they do, they are selective in what they target basing the decision on the money making and media potential, they are linked with and support organizations that promote cultural hate. Worst of all Watson is a bad actor dressing up in a Captain Kangaroo suit running around pretending to be Clint Eastwood being shot and saved by a piece of plate steel hung around his next with a shoelace, acting like he is a vegetarian yet consuming a herd of cattle annually, dancing with the stars to prey on their need to have their ego stroked and at the same time running off with bags of their money. SSCS is an embarrassment to conservation and the conservation movement plain and simple and nothing will change that.

    • Michael Raymer

      The thing is romika, you’re supposed to hate Watson’s tactics. You’re a pro-whaling, pro-seal clubbing, murderous freak of nature. If the day comes that you DON’T have a problem with SSCS, then we have trouble.

      • romika3

        And where is it that I say I am pro-sealing and pro-whaling. Find the quote in one of my hundreds of posts that that direct states that. I have an issue with Watson’s tactics plain and simple. Buy the way, did you get a deer this season?

      • georgina

        Hi there romika, if you are not a fan of SSCS but you are not a pro-whaler/sealer then what are you? Neutral? Don’t care either way?
        And please forgive me if i am asking something you have answered before, but i do not live on Ecorazzi and can’t possibly read through everything people post here.

      • georgina

        Michael Raymer: this is a very important message … Happy New Year to you!

      • Michael Raymer

        Thank you georgina. Happy New Year (I knew I could count on you)

        Romika…seriously? You’re going to try to waste my time pointing out your pro-whaling and pro-sealing stance? Nope. Not when you make it obvious in your posts. Your repeated attempts at calling these people “common frontline fisherpersons” is more than enough. And that’s it. I’m not wasting any more time on this.

      • romika3

        Great, one less SSCS supporter.

    • Aran

      To the detractors: Say what you like about Watson and SSCS. The thing is what SSCS does, works! Whales are saved. That’s all I care about.

      Sit and talk all you like – but I ain’t interested until you show me the numbers of whales your tactics saved.

      • David

        But what if Watson’s tactics cause the whalers to dig in and keep whaling rather than enter discussions that ultimately get them to stop whaling?

        Then although he saves some whales every year, whaling continues for more years because of him, and ultimately he is responsible for more whales dying.

      • AnimuX

        David, anyone who reads about the history of modern industrial whaling, particularly about Japan, will quickly realize that the whalers will not stop until they are forced to stop.

        Sea Shepherd’s actions have even been validated by Japan’s government officials who publicly and privately (leaked) stated that the activists have forcibly reduced the annual catch and generated political pressure within Japan.

      • David

        Sorry Animux, no matter how high an opinion you have of yourself you can hardly speak for anyone who reads about the history of modern industrial whaling.

        Did I say SSCS didn’t have an effect on the Japanese quota? Did I even say that SSCS hadn’t generated political pressure in Japan?

        So basically your whole post is wrong.

      • AnimuX

        Work on the reading comprehension Dave.

        You say Watson’s tactics caused Japan to keep on whaling when Japan has been violating or subverting international whaling regulations since the 1930s. Clearly, they were “dug in” before Watson arrived.

        Watson’s tactics have reduced the annual catch (economic pressure) and according to Japanese officials also increased domestic political pressure within Japan.

        Your assumption that Watson somehow makes Japan kill more whales is completely devoid of reason and merely serves as yet another jab at Watson and Sea Shepherd from the gallery of pro-whaling antagonists here on ecorazzi.

  • Jen

    anyone read Paul’s book Ocean Warrior? I know that it is out of print but it is great. I got the chance to meet Paul at an event in October in Los Angeles and he signed my copy. This is the first I have heard about the film. I am jazzed to see where it goes. I suggest to anyone who is a Paul Watson fan to try to read the book, they always seem to leave so much out in a movie!

  • romika3

    Folks, who can I call to get a reading for the part of Romika3?

    • Michael Raymer

      Well, Kramer from “Seinfeld” would be my first choice for ya, buddy.

  • ella seneres

    About time someone told the story of the Sea Shepherds. Bravo. I love Paul Watson, he rules and rocks.