Having worked together several times over the past several decades on projects such as Aliens and the Avatar franchise, James Cameron and Sigourney Weaver are once again teaming up, but it won't be like anything fans are used to from the blockbuster duo. For one, they're heading for TV instead of the big screen, and for another, it'll be for a science-driven project, as opposed to science fiction. Cameron and Weaver were announced as key creative partners for the upcoming National Geographic docu-series Secrets of the Whales.
This awesome news was announced during National Geographic's panels during the Television Critics Association summer press tour (which is being handled virtually for obvious reasons). For Secrets of the Whales, the award-winning Sigourney Weaver will lend her soothing voice as the narrator for all episodes of the TV event. Meanwhile, the NatGeo-friendly filmmaker James Cameron was announced as an executive producer.
Rather than being a one-off special, Secrets of the Whales is being presented as a four-part series that will serve as a high-profile premiere for National Geographic's Earth Day celebration for 2021. It's easy to understand why the network isn't trying to limit things, since the event series is the result of three years of work by acclaimed National Geographer explorer and photographer Brian Skerry, who traveled to 24 different locations to accumulate footage from the fascinating world of whale-dom. Not to mention the many years of work that he'd put into studying the mammal before that.
I know what you're thinking: who is trusting these whales with all the big secrets? But that's just silly. With Sigourney Weaver as viewers' guide, Secrets of the Whales will explore the surprisingly detailed social structures and communication techniques showcased by five different whale species. The special will utilize up-to-date science and technologies to give viewers the best look yet at the lifelong friendships whales are capable of making, as well as how adult whales are able to teach traditions to their offspring, and how the mammals experience deep feelings of grief over the dead.
Here's what James Cameron said about the four-part series:
Secrets of the Whales has all the elements I love – new tech used for scientific inquiry, wrapped in great storytelling that visually excites and emotionally resonates. I’m proud to work with my longtime partner, National Geographic, in showing incredible new insights into the inner world of whales, their emotion and culture. These majestic, mysterious animals continue to surprise us.
If there's a new way to discover something underwater, you can bet that James Cameron will be there will bells on. And it certainly doesn't hurt that he's reteaming with the star of two of his most lucrative and fan-favorite films. On that note, here's what Sigourney Weaver herself said about Secrets of the Whales.
National Geographic has long been deepening our connection to the world around us, and I’m honored to team up with them to narrate this stunning series. Viewers get up close and personal and experience the extraordinary emotion, grace and power of these magnificent creatures. They get to know them intimately in order to ultimately realize just how like them we truly are.
Beyond just the docu-series airing on TV next year, Brian Skerry's work will also be showcased in National Geographic magazine. Beyond that, Secrets of the Whales will be getting its own standalone book, which will be released timed to the special coming out. Fans can likely expect some gorgeous photography in both the book and magazine spread. However it goes, we'll obviously be getting more from this project sooner than we're getting anything from the Avatar films.
While Secrets of the Whales doesn't yet have an exact schedule set for the four episodes, audiences should look forward to it premiering on National Geographic on Earth Day, which will fall on Thursday, April 22, 2021. Stay tuned for more info about the exact date, and be sure to check out our Fall 2020 TV premiere schedule to keep up to date with all the shows debuting in the coming months.