EXCLUSIVE: Mike Fleiss, who created The Bachelor and other reality hits before branching into films, has acquired feature film rights to the life story of Richard O’Barry. He is the dolphin preservationist and the central figure in the Oscar-winning documentary The Cove. O’Barry started his career training the dolphins that starred in the TV show Flipper. When one of them died in captivity–and maybe had lost its will to live–O’Barry began a life long quest to free dolphins from captivity. He came to the forefront in the documentary, in which director Louie Psihoyos covertly filmed the carnage in a cove in the small former whaling village of Taijii. Fisherman annually herd thousands of dolphins into the cove, and slaughter them in a frenzy that actually makes the waters run blood red. The film created a global uproar.
Fleiss and Lincoln O’Barry will produce under Next Films and BayRock Media, and Next Films’ Chris Briggs will also be a producer. WME Global’s Graham Taylor will package and sell distribution rights. Fleiss is teamed with Next Films on Shark Night 3D, Hostel 3 and the documentary God Bless Ozzy Osbourne.
Below is an upsetting film which illuminates O’Barry’s crusade: