Jon Turteltaub On Board for Olympic Whale Movie

Jon TurteltaubJon Turteltaub, who directed Disney’s National Treasure as well as ’90s favorites Cool Runnings and 3 Ninjas, has been brought on board to help develop Fox 2000’s Beached, The Hollywood Reporter reports. Beached will tell the tale of a chubby four-year-old who falls overboard into the sea during a family outing and is raised by whales. After an aqueous childhood, he/she/it goes on to become an Olympic swimmer. It’s Ryan Lochte like we’ve never seen him before! That part’s a joke, the rest is not.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, this whale of a tale has been in development since 1997 and was originally written by Ted Griffin, the writer of Steven Soderbergh‘s Ocean’s Eleven. Now Turteltaub will oversee the writing of a new draft and direct the film.

While we know that Beached‘s plot is basically The Jungle Book in the ocean — with the extra added dose of Olympic awesomeness — we don’t know what the tone will be. Looking back, there are a number of whale movies from which Beached could draw inspiration.

Big Miracle: Billed as a “true story,” this live-action version of Beached would be three parts inspiration and one part perspiration, with an unexpected political undercurrent.

Whale Rider: This would be a highly realistic, yet semi-mystical take on the story. The rescued toddler’s relationship with the whales would be allegorical for the power of the human spirit. A happy ending is not guaranteed. 

Free Willy: Following in Free Willy‘s footsteps, Beached would be a feel-good family tale. Viewers would decide to suspend their belief in order to root for our unlikely hero who will ultimately triumph against all odds.

Pinocchio: Maybe the best way to tackle this story is through animation. And, with the Pinocchio whale as the model, our protagonist would live inside of the whale.

Finding Nemo: With Pixar at the helm, Beached would be a whimsical comedy, filled with fast-talking characters and plenty of charm.

Planet Earth: How about Beached as a nature documentary? Of course, to accomplish this, one would have to actually strand a child in the middle of the ocean and hope that a friendly pod of whales comes along to nurture said child. Actually, this sounds like a lawsuit waiting to happen.

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[Photo Credit: WENN]


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Celebrity Editor Abbey Stone hails from the fair isle of Martha's Vineyard, a lovely, vaguely dinosaur-shaped spot of land located off the coast of Cape Cod, MA, that is best known for exporting preppy salmon-colored pants. But the bright lights of New York City beckoned, and Abbey was lured away from her coastal haven to attend Barnard College. She graduated in 2010 with a degree in English and a much less useful minor in Dance. Abbey has been published in Dance Magazine, The Huffington Post, Time Out New York, and Popstar! magazine (where she learned more than she ever wanted to know about Justin Bieber). Abbey now lives in Brooklyn, where she spends her days watching stupid Internet videos and reading pretentious books.