Peter Bratt to helm Rachel Carson biopic

Film to show environmentalist's efforts to write 'Silent Spring'

Peter Bratt has signed on to direct "Silent Spring of Rachel Carson," a biopic about the crusading environmentalist, for producers Robert Chartoff and Lynn Hendee of Chartoff Prods.

The movie will focus on the five years that Carson struggled to report and write her seminal 1962 book "Silent Spring," which argued that pesticides were harming the environment by killing animals and birds and affecting humans.

Carson, who died of breast cancer in 1964, was attacked by the chemical industry even as her book became a best-seller and she appeared at congressional hearings that paved the way for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. In 1980, she was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Bratt, repped by Gersh and APM, most recently directed "La Mission," starring his brother Benjamin Bratt, which has screened widely on this year's festival circuit. He'll helm "Spring" from an original screenplay by Gail Brice, who had access to Carson's papers archived at Yale.

"Rachel Carson's prophetic work in many ways echoes the same message that native people have been trying to share with the Western world for more than 500 years: What we do to the Mother Earth, we do to ourselves," he said.

Chartoff Prods. acquired the film rights from literary agent Frances Collin, trustee of the Carson estate.

Chartoff and Hendee are among the producers of Julie Taymor's "The Tempest," which has just been selected to close the 67th Venice Film Festival in September.