BURBANK, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Leading up to the July 1st release of The Legend of Tarzan, Warner Bros. Pictures, Village Roadshow Pictures and the filmmakers and stars of the film are teaming up with international NGO Stop Ivory to tackle one of our world’s greatest conservation challenges – the fight to protect Africa’s rare forest elephant and, by extension, save the world’s elephants from extinction.
The sweeping African landscapes that feature prominently in the film were captured on location in the extraordinary country of Gabon, where English conservationist and documentary filmmaker Josh Ponte has spent the last 15 years working to preserve the country’s wildlife. Ponte, who served as the African technical advisor on the film, has focused his efforts on stopping the illegal killing of the rare forest elephants that call Gabon home. In the last 30 years, ivory poaching has reduced the global forest elephant population by two thirds – and half of those that are left live in the Gabonese forest. Without action, even these could be gone in a decade.
Now, the cast, filmmakers and Studios behind The Legend of Tarzan are joining forces with Stop Ivory in support of the Elephant Protection Initiative to help save this endangered animal. The partnership was forged in the spirit of creating entertaining, informative and meaningful ways to engage the global community of moviegoers to join the effort to end the poaching of Gabon’s surviving forest elephants while reinforcing the film’s central themes of humanity’s deep connections with wildlife and nature.
The campaign began in earnest with a Public Service Announcement (PSA) for the Elephant Protection Initiative, featuring the film’s star Alexander Skarsgård and appearing on Regal Cinemas screens across the United States as part of their “Stars of Hope” program. More information is available at www.regmovies.com. Skarsgård and Margot Robbie will also be featured in an international Stop Ivory PSA, which will be seen in theaters, as well as broadcast and a variety of digital and social platforms.
On Twitter, Warner Bros. and Stop Ivory are participating in a “ReTweet for Good” campaign, with the studio making a donation to the organization for retweets of select Stop Ivory PSAs at designated times. Details will be available on Twitter and on the organization’s website.
Additionally, the Studio has created a featurette, entitled “From Gabon to the Big Screen,” which chronicles director David Yates’ journey with Ponte to capture the landscapes of Gabon for the film. It will bring viewers face-to-face with the beautiful animals they’ve joined forces to save. This video piece will open up the lush rainforests of Gabon and highlight the integral role forest elephants play in the ecological backbone of the region.
Finally, a limited number of movie-goers who see the film in international markets will receive a special plush elephant, signifying an additional donation has been made by Warner Bros. to the Stop Ivory campaign.
Please visit www.stopivory.org for more information.
About The Legend of Tarzan
Warner Bros. Pictures presents, in association with Village Roadshow Pictures, a Jerry Weintraub Production, a Riche/Ludwig Production, a David Yates Film, The Legend of Tarzan. Directed by David Yates (the last four Harry Potter films, upcoming Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them), The Legend of Tarzan is an all-new action adventure that reimagines the legendary character created by Edgar Rice Burroughs, starring Alexander Skarsgård (HBO’s True Blood, Diary of a Teenage Girl) as John Clayton III / Tarzan, and Margot Robbie (The Wolf of Wall Street, upcoming Suicide Squad) as his beloved wife, Jane. The film also stars Oscar nominees Samuel L. Jackson (Pulp Fiction, the Captain America films) and Djimon Hounsou (Blood Diamond, Gladiator), with Oscar winner Jim Broadbent (Iris), and two-time Oscar winner Christoph Waltz (Inglourious Basterds, Django Unchained).
Yates directed The Legend of Tarzan from a screenplay by Adam Cozad and Craig Brewer, story by Brewer and Cozad based on the Tarzan stories created by Burroughs. Legendary producer Jerry Weintraub (Behind the Candelabra, the Ocean’s trilogy) produced the film, together with David Barron (the Harry Potter films, Cinderella), Alan Riche (Southpaw) and Tony Ludwig (Starsky & Hutch). Susan Ekins, Nikolas Korda, Keith Goldberg, David Yates, Mike Richardson and Bruce Berman served as executive producers. The film will be distributed in 2D and 3D in select theatres and IMAX by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company, and in select territories by Village Roadshow Pictures. www.legendoftarzan.com
About Josh Ponte
In 2001, Josh Ponte traveled to Gabon to live with 16 orphaned gorillas, which led to more than a decade of work in the region. He was part of the initial team that developed the national park network of Gabon, became a special advisor to its President, collected and archived to the music of its diverse population, and is a specialist in late C19 central African history. He was the consultant on history and culture to the director, producers, actors and art and costume departments, in addition to providing location services for the production. He is an advocate for the Gabon’s conservation efforts, an explorer with National Geographic, and a Director of Stop Ivory.
About Stop Ivory
Stop Ivory is an NGO registered in the UK and US committed to protecting elephants, stopping the ivory trade and securing a meaningful future for elephants and communities. Stop Ivory is the secretariat of the Elephant Protection Initiative. www.stopivory.org
About the Elephant Protection Initiative
The Elephant Protection Initiative leads African efforts to bring elephant range states, non-range states, governmental agencies, non-governmental organizations, private sector partners and private citizens together to protect elephants and stop the illegal ivory trade. Gabon was a founding member. www.elephantprotectioninitiative.org