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.