Dr. Richard Leakey, world-renowned anthropologist, activist, professor and chair of Stony Brook University’s Turkana Basin Institute, may soon see himself on the silver screen — possibly portrayed by Brad Pitt — in a film about his battle against poachers in Africa.
Dr. Leakey recently discussed the film in The Independent, describing a “working lunch” with actress and director Angelina Jolie, who is slated to direct.
The script, penned by Forrest Gump screenwriter Eric Roth, is tentatively titled Africa and centers on Dr. Leakey’s actions as chairman of the Kenya Wildlife Service in the 1980s, when he battled elephant poachers.
“Elephants are a major part of our heritage,” Dr. Leakey told The Independent. “They are an enormously important ecological, iconic species. We would like our grandchildren and great-grandchildren to have the extraordinary thrill of going into the wild and seeing wild animals, including elephants.”
Dr. Leakey founded the Kenyan Wildlife Service in 1989 and was asked to return to run it in April of 2015 to aid the fight against poaching. Buyers, primarily from Asia, are willing to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for elephant tusks and rhino horns.
Dr. Leakey said as many as 40,000 elephants are killed each year, and tusks can go as high as $30,000 on the black market.
Read the complete interview with Dr. Leakey at The Independent website.