Hollywood is ramping up its efforts to feature the environment and climate change storylines in its TV movie productions, with a host of recent and upcoming titles being released this year addressing global warming, pollution, and other issues, according to a new report.
Among the most prominent titles are HBO’s Years and Years, starring Emma Thompson, and Apple’s upcoming Losing Earth, based on the New York Times Magazine article about climate change.
Variety reported that Hollywood is wrestling with the way it portrays climate change as the industry takes a more activist role.
“How can we exist on a planet and oversee its destruction — a destruction that threatens our very existence — and seem to be so passive in the face of it? So it’s really a question about people,” filmmaker Brett Story told the trade magazine. Story’s documentary The Hottest August, which is set to be released later this year, speaks with people about how they feel about the future.
One of the most anticipated titles is Dark Waters, a movie set to be released by Focus Features in November, starring Mark Ruffalo, Anne Hathaway and Tim Robbins.
The Todd Haynes-directed movie reportedly follows an attorney (Ruffalo) who uncovers a connection between unexplained deaths and the chemical company DuPont. The movie is inspired by a New York Times article about an environmental lawsuit waged against DuPont by lawyer Robert Bilott.
Last year saw a spate of movies that featured environmental messages, from the big-budget Aquaman to the indie feature First Reformed.
This year, HBO released the British series Years and Years, focusing on a member of Parliament (Thompson) whose political career wreaks havoc on her family life. The lightly futuristic series touches on a range of political issues, from the environment to migration.
On the TV horizon are a slew of documentaries and news segments tackling environmental subjects.
CBS News Digital general manager and executive vice president Christy Tanner told Variety: “Climate change is a factor of so many of the stories we cover right now. Everything from migration to extreme weather to food and water supply and quality, and obviously many other topics.”
The network recently debuted A Climate Reckoning in the Heartland, a documentary about the impact of climate change on farming in Nebraska.
Also on the horizon are Photo Ark, a NatGeo two-hour special slated for next year focusing wildlife impacted by climate change, and Wildlife Warriors, an upcoming Discovery Channel series about conservation and animal extinction.