Kristen Bell Saves ‘Whales’

ALTKristen Bell is channeling former Heroes colleague and anti-whaling activist Hayden Panettierre for her latest role in Universal dramedy Whales. Ken Kwapis is directing the adaptation of Tom Rose’s Freeing the Whales: How the Media Created the World’s Greatest Non-Event, a non-fictional account of the media frenzy that ensued after three gray whales were trapped under ice in the Arctic Circle in 1988.

Bell, who is best known for her roles in Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Veronica Mars, will play an egotistical reporter who “thinks her greatest asset is her looks.” She joins cast members Drew Barrymore, a Greenpeace volunteer, and John Krasinski, a small-town reporter. Kwapis has also released casting calls looking for native Alaskan and Inuit actors for the film. (Eat your heart out, Mr. Shyamalan)

Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner and Liza Chasin of Working Title are producing the film, along with Anonymous Content’s Steve Golin and Michael Sugar.

After she helps save the whales, Bell is appearing in Disney comedy You Again with Sigourney Weaver and Betty White, and musical drama Burlesque with Christina Aguilera and Cher.

Sources: The Hollywood Reporter, Anchorage Daily News