Ted Danson, Vinessa Shaw cast in 'Whales' pic

EXCLUSIVE: Duo joins John Krasinski in Ken Kwapis film

Ted Danson and Vinessa Shaw have joined the cast of "Everybody Loves Whales," a Working Title project that Ken Kwapis is directing for Universal.

Set in Cold War-era 1988, "Whales" tells the true story of a small-town reporter (John Krasinski) and a Greenpeace volunteer (Drew Barrymore) who enlist the help of rival superpowers to save three majestic gray whales trapped under the ice of the Arctic Circle.

The pic is based on Tom Rose's nonfiction book "Freeing the Whales: How the Media Created the World's Greatest Non-Event."

Danson is one of Hollywood best-known environmentalists, but in this pic, he plays a win-at-all-costs oilman who has no interest in saving the mammals. Shaw plays a White House staffer who wants the government to help the whales.

Kristen Bell and Tim Blake Nelson already have been cast.

Working Title's Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner and Liza Chasin will produce, as will Anonymous Content's Steve Golin and Michael Sugar. Shooting is set to begin this month in Alaska.

Danson, repped by CAA and Industry Entertainment, is best known for his vast TV work, though he does do occasional features. His most recent movies include indies "The Open Road," with Justin Timberlake and Jeff Bridges, and Jada Pinkett Smith's "The Human Contract."

Shaw starred with Joaquin Phoenix and Gwyneth Paltrow in James Gray's "Two Lovers" and appeared opposite Russell Crowe in "3:10 to Yuma." She is repped by ICM and the Collective.
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