EPs for The Apartment and Castlefield secured the rights to Death At SeaWorld book authored by David Kirby. Both houses intend to make a ten-part drama series adaptation of the book. Furthermore, Kirby’s book draws on events that preceded the award-winning documentary Blackfish.
The Young Pope and My Brilliant Friend producer Lorenzo Mieli hopes to inspire viewers to join the crusade in protecting the beauty of mother nature. On the other hand, UK producers Hilary Martin and Simon Judd for Castlefield want to focus on the drama that surrounds the life of animals in captivity.
Tilikum died in 2017 after a long battle with illness. Though he suffered from a bacterial lung infection, the cause of death was not known. Caught in Iceland in 1983, Tilikum lived a life of captivity until his dying day. He was two years old then. He lived in SeaWorld Orlando for most of his life.
If showrunners follow the book, the series will deal with at least three major issues. It will include the economics of running wildlife parks, animal rights, and safety protocols in parks that bank on animal-based entertainment.
Established in 1964, SeaWorld capitalized on the thrills exuded by orcas, sea lions, and dolphin shows. It attracts at least 11 million visitors per annum. For 13 years, the parks’ collection of marine mammals is the subject of public debate. If not for the death of Dawn Brancheau, California would not ban shows using orcas and the phasing out of theatrical orca shows in marine parks.
Though the death of Dawn Brancheau was tragic, many animal rights protection groups refuse to label Tilikum as a monster. Delving into the animals’ psyche, his trainers believe that Tilikum was a victim and just snapped. In captivity, Tilikum was a victim of aggression from both trainers and other marine park killer whales.
According to his trainers, he suffered bullying by other captive whales and separation anxieties from his wild family. On top of that, Tilikum had to cope with his demanding training schedule and performances.
Immediately after her death, SeaWorld banned trainers from getting into the water with an orca. It also prompted OSHA to take a closer look at the physical barriers in parks to ensure the safety of trainers and other attendants.
Based on the timeline set by both producing outfits, filming will start in late 2021. The show release date would be in 2022.
Image Courtesy of CBS This Morning/YouTube Screenshot
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