Winter plays herself in A Dolphin Tale currently being filmed at Clearwater Marine Aquarium.
CLEARWATER - Clearwater Marine Aquarium closed Sept. 10 to begin the filming of Dolphin Tale, a 3-D Alcon Entertainment production for release by Warner Bros.
Filming is projected to take two months but is subject to change based on the filming schedule. The film will star Academy Award winner Morgan Freeman, Harry Connick Jr. and Ashley Judd.
During filming, CMA will be closed to the public, and no program will be offered except Sea Life Safari and kayaking tours. CMA animal care and stranding response will not be affected
Alcon co-founders Broderick Johnson and Andrew Kosove will produce the film with Richard Ingber, Alcon’s President of Worldwide Marketing, who brought the project to the company. Alcon’s head of development Steven Wegner, and Robert Engelman will executive produce.
Charles Martin Smith (Air Bud, The Snow Walker) will direct the Karen Janszen (A Walk to Remember) screenplay, with revisions by Smith and Jordan Roberts. Script is based on an original treatment by Noam Dromi.
Based on true events Dolphin Tale is a family film about Winter, a young dolphin who loses her tail in a crab trap and Sawyer, the introverted, 11-year-old boy who befriends her.
Sawyer meets the rescued dolphin at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium (renamed Clearwater Marine Hospital for the movie), a marine rehabilitation center where she lives. Sawyer rallies friends and family alike to save Winter by convincing a pioneering doctor to create a unique prosthetic attachment to restore the dolphin’s ability to swim. Winter the dolphin will play herself in the movie.
Morgan Freeman will play Dr. McCarthy, an eccentric doctor who specializes in creating prosthetics for war veterans at the local VA hospital. He is faced with the greatest challenge of his career when he volunteers to help save Winter by designing a prosthetic tale for her.
Connick Jr. will play the role of Clay Haskett, the dedicated marine biologist who rescues Winter and takes her to the rescue facility he runs, Clearwater Marine Hospital. A single father who works tirelessly at the understaffed hospital, Haskett learns a lot about himself through the unlikely relationships that form around Winter.
Ashley Judd will play Lorraine Nelson, a nurse and single mother whose son, Sawyer, befriends Winter. Initially skeptical of her son's relationship with the ailing dolphin, she eventually realizes Winter’s importance in his life.
The real Winter will play herself.
Winter’s amazing story is told in detail in Winter’s Tail: How One Little Dolphin Learned to Swim Again, a book recently published by Scholastic, and in the film Winter: The Dolphin that Could, sold at www.SeeWinter.com.
Winter’s story has become the most-watched animal story in recent years, having previously been featured in most major news outlets, including the BBC, USA Today, Time Magazine, Animal Planet, Discovery Channel, National Geographic for Kids, and coverage in hundreds of international and national market newspapers and TV affiliates.
“We are very excited about doing this project and bringing Winter’s extraordinary story to the big screen. We are committed to only filming wild dolphins in their natural habitat and the dolphins at Clearwater Marine Aquarium, whose motto is ‘Rescue, Rehabilitate and Release,’” Johnson and Kosove said in a press release.
Alcon's latest releases The Blind Side, starring Sandra Bullock, and The Book of Eli, starring Denzel Washington, have both been worldwide successes.