National Geographic announced today that Golden Globe and BAFTA Award-winning actress Sigourney Weaver (“Alien,” “Avatar,” “Gorillas in the Mist”) will narrate its global television event, SECRETS OF THE WHALES, which chronicles the whale way of life and their challenges and triumphs in an ever-changing ocean.
Additionally, the network announced that renowned filmmaker and National Geographic Explorer-at-Large James Cameron will serve as executive producer. SECRETS OF THE WHALES will premiere globally on Earth Day 2021 in 172 countries and 43 languages.
The four-part event series is the work of acclaimed National Geographic Explorer and Photographer Brian Skerry, as he helps tell the story of a species he’s been documenting for decades. Filmed across three years in 24 locations, it’s a profoundly personal saga, venturing deep into the world of whales to reveal life and love from their perspective. Skerry’s latest work will also be featured in National Geographic magazine and the National Geographic book “Secrets of the Whales” timed to the special.
In SECRETS OF THE WHALES, Weaver guides viewers on a journey to the heart of whale culture to experience the extraordinary communication skills and intricate social structures of five different whale species. With the help of new science and technology, viewers witness whales making lifelong friendships, teaching clan heritage and traditions to their young and grieving deeply for the loss of loved ones.
“National Geographic has long been deepening our connection to the world around us, and I’m honored to team up with them to narrate this stunning series,” says Weaver. “Viewers get up close and personal and experience the extraordinary emotion, grace and power of these magnificent creatures. They get to know them intimately in order to ultimately realize just how like them we truly are.”
“SECRETS OF THE WHALES has all the elements I love — new tech used for scientific inquiry, wrapped in great storytelling that visually excites and emotionally resonates,” says Cameron. “I’m proud to work with my longtime partner, National Geographic, in showing incredible new insights into the inner world of whales, their emotion and culture. These majestic, mysterious animals continue to surprise us.”
“Capturing these whales on film has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my entire life, and I’m thrilled to bring the complexity and beauty of these creatures right to viewers’ living rooms,” says Skerry. “It is my hope that in venturing into their world, viewers recognize themselves in these animals’ joy, pain, love and relationships and are as inspired by them as I am.”
One of the world’s top ocean photographers, Skerry has spent more than 10,000 hours underwater, documenting uncharted territory and elucidating environmental issues, often leading to policy change. Skerry’s work expands upon National Geographic’s legacy of exploration and dedication to conservation and protecting the animal species that inhabit our planet as they grapple with an ecosystem under threat. On April 22, the company celebrates our wonderful world across its portfolio, raising awareness of the immense challenges facing Earth and inspiring stewardship for generations to come.
SECRETS OF THE WHALES is produced for National Geographic by Red Rock Films. For Red Rock Films, Brian Armstrong and Shannon Malone-DeBenedictis are executive producers. For Earthship, James Cameron and Maria Wilhelm are executive producers and Kim Butts is associate producer. For National Geographic, Pamela Caragol is executive producer and Geoff Daniels is executive vice president of global unscripted entertainment for National Geographic Global Networks.