Nat Geo Lands Leonardo DiCaprio Climate Change Doc’s Worldwide Rights

TCA 2016: Cable channel separately teams with Katie Couric on gender fluidity project

Last Updated: July 30, 2016 @ 2:18 PM

National Geographic Channel has acquired the worldwide rights to Leonardo DiCaprio‘s untitled climate change documentary. Additionally, the cable net is joining forces with Katie Couric on a film study of gender fluidity.

The climate change film, which is also produced by Fisher Stevens, presents an account of how society can prevent the demise of endangered species, ecosystems and native communities across the globe. Audiences are presented with visual evidence of a worsening environmental crisis that is inflicting irreversible damage on pristine landscapes from Greenland to Indonesia, disturbing the balance of our planet’s climate and hastening the extinction of beloved animals, Nat Geo said. It also presents practical solutions to save the planet.

Interview subjects in that film include Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, John Kerry, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Pope Francis, as well as top NASA researchers, forest conservationists, revered scientists, community leaders and fervent  activists working to save the world.

“National Geographic has a long history of inspiring others to care about the planet,” said Courteney Monroe, CEO of National Geographic Global Networks. “Now, in the midst of the undeniable crisis that is climate change, we have a responsibility to inspire others to act. I have no doubt that the global reach of our brand, combined with DiCaprio’s passion for this issue and Fisher’s compelling storytelling will bring this critical issue to the forefront like never before.”

“Climate change is the most fundamental threat facing our planet,” said DiCaprio. “We must work together as a collective voice to demand major action now. Our very survival depends on it. This documentary translates the symptoms and solutions of climate change before information is distorted, as it often is, by those with a financial interest in fossil fuel production.”

“If you could know the truth about how much damage we’ve done to our planet and how much time we have to find solutions before this whole ecosystem collapses — would you want to know? We can no longer turn a blind eye to this issue and hope that it resolves itself,” added Stevens. “My hope is that this film provides a wake up call about our inevitable fate should we fail to act.  And on the eve of what could be the most important election of our time, I hope this film not only educates the public on the serious threat we face, but also forces voters to really think about how important their vote is this fall.”

National Geographic plans to release the DiCaprio doc theatrically in New York and Los Angeles this October followed by a global premiere on National Geographic Channel in 171 countries in 45 languages preceding the U.S. election in November. The film is a RatPac Documentary Films, Appian Way and Insurgent Media production. In addition to DiCaprio and Stevens, Brett Ratner, James Packer, Jennifer Davisson and Trevor Davidoski also produce. It’s executive produced by Martin Scorsese.

The deal was negotiated by John Sloss of Cinetic Media with Tim Pastore, president of Original Programming and Production for National Geographic Channel.

Couric’s “Gender Revolution” (working title) will explore the complexities of gender in everyday life, from the moment we are born through our twilight years, per the cable channel. The film will examine how gender has been viewed across centuries by ancient civilizations and the surprisingly different approaches to gender around the world today.

It will dive into the debates, from the deeply personal — at what age do we first come to terms with our gender? — to the very public, including what’s fair when it comes to intersex athletes at the Olympics and the new battlefront: public restrooms. It will shed light on the countless untold stories of struggle, understanding, ignorance, hurt and love.

“This show will explore the roles of science, politics, and culture on gender, giving viewers a greater understanding of what is becoming a rapidly evolving issue,” said Monroe. “We’re proud to partner with Katie and her talented production team to play a part in breaking down the complexities of gender identity.”

“It seems that every day, there’s a new story and a new vocabulary around gender that’s challenging our long-held attitudes and preconceptions about what makes us who we are,” added Couric. “‘Gender Revolution’ (w.t.) will go beyond the headlines to examine the why, the how and what it all means, with intimate stories of the people who are at the forefront of this new frontier. We’ll also explore how it’s impacting almost every aspect of our lives, from bathrooms to boardrooms, and from colleges to competitive sports. Think of it this way: this will be everything you wanted to know about gender but were afraid to ask.”

The film will premiere on the National Geographic Channel globally in 171 countries and 45 languages, timed to the January 2017 Gender issue of National Geographic Magazine.

“Gender Revolution” (w.t.) will be produced by Katie Couric Media and National Geographic Studios for National Geographic Channel. For Katie Couric Media, executive producers are Couric and Mitch Semel. For National Geographic Studios, executive producers are Jeff Hasler and Brian Lovett. Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato, known for shows including “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” “The RuPaul Show” and “Hot Property” also serve as executive producers on this film.

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