As if Nicole Kidman hadn't done enough for the mystique of elephants! Ten years ago in Moulin Rouge! (see previous posts) she famously lived, loved, and playfully sang on top of a giant bejewelled 'phant. Now she'll be interacting with the real thing on the silver screen. In early 2012 she'll be heading to Africa to film My Wild Life, a drama about the work of elephants advocate and conservationist Dame Daphne Sheldrick. Phillip Noyce (Salt, The Quiet American) will direct. Sheldrick's autobiography will be published in the spring and by this time next year (or thereabouts), if all goes according to plan, we'll see Nicole Kidman reenacting her adventures just in time for next year's Oscar race.
We assume that the bulk of the film will take place between 1955 and 1976 when Sheldrick (who was in her 20s and 30s at the time) and her husband were the co-wardens of Kenya's Tsavo National Park. Sheldrick became an expert on rearing wild animals particularly elephants and rhinos. According to The Hollywood Reporter the film has been gestating for longer than elephants themselves do (22 months if you need to know) and in previous incarnations Julia Roberts and Kate Winslet were both interested in playing Sheldrick.
I believe Sigourney Weaver was the last actress to get an animal husbandry biopic / Oscar nomination (Gorillas in the Mist, 1988)? It can't be too frequent an occurrence given that we don't see too many of those on the big screen. Even animal husbandry with super powers (Aquaman) never makes it to the big screen.
It occurs to me: the family Elephantidae must have secured good representation in Hollywood ten years back. Ever since Nicole & Ewan's "Elephant Love Medley" they've been getting bigger and bigger roles starting with key supporting parts in action movies (The Lord of the Rings and Ong Bank franchises). Lately they've taken to starring in documentaries (One Lucky Elephant - see previous post) and ampliying and romanticizing the charms of their leading ladies (Julia Roberts in Eat Pray Love, Reese Witherspoon in Water For Elephants).
P.S. Here's a fun take on Moulin Rouge's "Elephant Love Medley" with the original songs dubbed in.
P.P.S. There really ought to have been a special Oscar for the song scoring / arranging / adaptation of Moulin Rouge!