Christopher Walken, Christina Ricci to Star in Anti-GMO Movie
The film is based on the true story of Percy Schmeiser, a canola farmer from Saskatchewan, Canada who was sued by agriculture giant Monsanto over patent infringement in 1998.
Walken will play the title character and Ricci will star as anti-GMO activist Rebecca Salcau.
Here's Deadline's synopsis of the film:
As [Walken's character] speaks out against the company's business practices, he realizes he is representing thousands of other disenfranchised farmers around the world fighting the same battle. Suddenly, he becomes an unsuspecting folk hero in a desperate war to protect farmers' rights and the world's food supply against what they see as corporate greed.
Clark Johnson of The Wire will direct the film from a script by Hilary Pryor and Garfield L. Miller, Deadline reported.
Oscar winner Christopher Walken and Christina Ricci are set to star in 'Percy,' an anti-GMO indie film which is cur… https://t.co/D9uqkEGFFG— DEADLINE (@DEADLINE)1536101273.0
Not to spoil the movie, but Monsanto successfully sued Schmeiser for patent violation after the company's GMO canola was found growing on his farm without a license. In 2004, the case made it all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada, where the judges ruled 5-4 in favor of Monsanto, even though Schmeiser claims the seeds were accidentally blown onto his property.
Although Schmeiser lost, his story has evolved into a David versus a corporate Goliath tale, where Monsanto is framed as a boogeyman throwing its multinational heft at a small-time farmer.
The Schmeiser case, as well as the 147 other times Monsanto has sued U.S. farmers over patent infringement involving saved seed, has raised questions about companies having patents on plants and other life forms.
Schmeiser, who was also the main character in the 2009 documentary David versus Monsanto, has emerged as an anti-GMO folk hero and ultimately views his legal defeat as a win.
"In the end it turned out good and we brought the world's attention to what GMOs do and what it could do to farmers," he told CBC in an interview published last month.
To this day, Monsanto's view of the case and of Schmeiser himself is not exactly flattering.
"The truth is Percy Schmeiser is not a hero. He's simply a patent infringer who knows how to tell a good story," the company states on its webpage about the case. "Schmeiser knowingly planted this seed in his field without permission or license. By doing so, he used Monsanto's patented technology without permission."
By Julia Conley
Conservation campaigners on Thursday accused President Donald Trump of taking a "wrecking ball" to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as the White House announced plans to move ahead with the sale of drilling leases in the 19 million-acre coastal preserve, despite widespread, bipartisan opposition to oil and gas extraction there.
The Sheenjek River in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Alexis Bonogofsky / USFWS
- Bipartisan Bill Seeks to Ban Drilling in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge ›
- Bank of America Promises It Won't Fund Arctic Drilling - EcoWatch ›
- Trump's Drilling Leases on Public Lands Could Lead to 4.7B Metric ... ›
- Trump Administration's Alaska Oil and Gas Lease Sale a 'Major Flop ... ›
- Will Oil Companies Drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge ... ›
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
Hot, dry and windy conditions fueled a wildfire southeast of Los Angeles Thursday that injured two firefighters and forced 25,000 to flee their homes.
- 'Explosive' Southern California Lake Fire Spreads to 10,000 Acres ... ›
- A Gender-Reveal Party Started a Wildfire That Burned Nearly ... ›
- Wildfire in LA Burns 7,000 Acres During Record-Setting Heat Wave ... ›
The climate crisis already has a death toll, and it will get worse if we don't act to reduce emissions.
- 'Every Child Born Today Will Be Profoundly Affected by Climate ... ›
- Coronavirus Response Proves the World Can Act on Climate Change ›
- 5 Things About Climate Change and Coronavirus From WHO ... ›
By Stuart Braun
The UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres addressed the dire threat of climate change Wednesday in a speech on the state of the planet delivered at Columbia University in New York.
- UN: Climate Crisis Has Doubled Natural Disasters in Last 20 Years ... ›
- Countries Pledge to Reverse Destruction of Nature After Missing ... ›
- 13 Must-Read Climate Change Reports for 2020 - EcoWatch ›
- The UN Wants to Protect 30% of the Planet by 2030 - EcoWatch ›
By David Coman-Hidy
The actions of the U.S. meat industry throughout the pandemic have brought to light the true corruption and waste that are inherent within our food system. Despite a new wave of rising COVID-19 cases, the U.S. Department of Agriculture recently submitted a proposal to further increase "the maximum slaughter line speed by 25 percent," which was already far too fast and highly dangerous. It has been made evident that the industry will exploit its workers and animals all to boost its profit.