In 1988, an Eskimo in Point Barrow, Alaska discovered three grey whales trapped beneath the icepack, unable to escape to the open sea. Eventually the United States and the Soviet Union teamed up to save the unfortunate beasts, releasing much strain between the two conflicted countries. The effort cost almost $5 million, but the whales were saved as were relations between us and the Reds.

22 years later, the story has resurfaced and Hollywood has it in its sights. And why wouldn’t it? It has all the fixins of a heartwarming family-oriented dramedy, and based on that alone is poised to make a few hundred million dollars. On top of all that, Hollywood darling Drew Barrymore is set star in the adaptation titled Everybody Loves Whales, giving the film even more box office appeal.

Rights to the story were picked up by Universal after Warner Bros. walked away from the project. Depending on how quickly they can turn this around, Whales may be able to capitalize on the current state of oceanic awareness brought on by the stunning documentary The Cove, as well as the forthcoming Oceans, Disney’s follow-up to 2007’s Earth.

No other casting or dates have been announced, but a guaranteed money maker like this will surely move quickly from script to screen.

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