When you’re preparing to celebrate at a wrap party for a movie about a dolphin who survives a life-threatening disaster and yet another dolphin struggling to survive is wheeled in at that very moment, you’ve just got to take it as a sign. And if that doesn’t do it for you, how about the fact that the 2011 release, Dolphin Tale, also went on to lock $95 million at the worldwide box office, earn an abundance of critical praise and warm hearts all across the globe?
Dolphin Tale clearly earned a sequel, but, even then, you can’t turn Winter’s experience into a series if you don’t have another inspiring true tale worth telling. But that’s where Hope comes in.
For those in need of a quick refresher, back in December of 2005, a young Atlantic bottlenose dolphin suffered serious wounds after becoming caught in a crab trap. Malnourished and dehydrated, Winter was found and taken to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium for treatment. The prognosis was grim, specifically in regards to her severely damaged fluke. Ultimately, her tail was amputated and the Clearwater staff was left to figure out how she could survive without it, a seemingly impossible endeavor. However, the implementation of an astounding rehabilitation program including a prosthetic replacement eventually did the trick. Now, not only is Winter alive and thriving, but her story has had quite the ripple effect, moving millions, spawning a feature film adaptation and now a sequel.
In Dolphin Tale 2, well meet Hope, a dolphin who was orphaned at a dangerously young age. In December 2010, she was spotted alongside her deceased mother in a lagoon on the east coast of Florida and, yet again, the folks from Clearwater Marine Aquarium swooped in to save the day. Hope was taken to the facility where the staff developed a formula to ensure she got the nutrition typically supplied by a calfs mother, taught her necessary survival and behavior skills, and introduced her to a new friend, Winter.
Three years after Hopes rescue, ComingSoon.net was invited to the actual Clearwater Marine Aquarium in Tampa, Florida where director Charles Martin Smith and much of the original team behind Dolphin Tale, reunited to continue Winter’s story and to bring Hope herself into the fold. Not only did we get the opportunity to speak with Dolphin Tale veterans Morgan Freeman, Harry Connick Jr., Nathan Gamble, Cozi Kuehlsdorff, Austin Highsmith, Austin Stowell, producer Andrew Kosove, executive producer David Yates, and newcomer, Bethany Hamilton, but we also got to tour the facility and get a quick glimpse at a moment during which Winter gets a little something from Freeman’s character, Dr. Cameron McCarthy.
We cant give you any of the goods until closer to the Dolphin Tale 2 release, September 19, 2014, but for now we can share a selection of images from the film. Check them out below and keep an eye out for our full set visit report later this year.