Warner Bros. is taking the lead on anti-poaching films with some big names attached. Two projects focusing on the illegal poaching of endangered animals in Africa will be produced by Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way, Tom Hardy’s Executive Options and Tobey Maguire’s Material Pictures. We previously reported on this back in August, but it looks as if the premise might have evolved. The first of these pictures, written by Sheldon Turner (Up in the Air) based off an idea by Hardy, will be set up as a star vehicle for The Dark Knight Rises actor. The untitled picture will be set in Africa with Hardy as a special forces soldier who signs on with his friend to train anti-poaching personnel in the Zimbabwe bush. Hardy’s character falls in love with the land and the animals he is trying to protect, which spells doom for the poachers. For news on the second picture, hit the jump.
Deadline reports that the second picture does not have a title or a writer attached as of yet, but will also be produced by the trio. The plot has been compared to that of Traffic, as it focuses on a dissection of the exploitative ivory industry. Ivory from poached animals (elephants, rhinos) are exported to a global market and used for ludicrous purposes such as aphrodisiacs or status symbols for the wealthy. The picture will be told via multiple perspectives and feature aspsects of the illicit trade, such as back-room dealings of corporate executives, a look at the life of a poacher, to others involved in the trade that stretches from the jungles to the oceans. The film might involve the producing trio of DiCaprio, Hardy and Maguire in onscreen roles as well. The three got involved when they discovered that their wildlife conservation interests aligned.
Other endangered animals are being poached as well, not just the ivory-bearers. Every part of a wild tiger, from “whisker to tail,” is traded in this illegal market for the same nonsensical reasons. Sharks are continually hunted for their fins. There are, unfortunately, too many incidents to list here. But you can head to the World Wildlife Fund page to learn more.