Three actors eye 'Dolphin Tale'

Morgan Freeman, Harry Connick Jr. and Ashley Judd in talks

Morgan Freeman, Harry Connick Jr. and Ashley Judd are in negotiations to star in "Dolphin Tale," Warner Bros.-based Alcon Entertainment's inspirational animal tale being directed by Charles Martin Smith.

The movie will be a 3D release, perhaps becoming the first family film in this current climate of 3D frenzy to go with the format.

"Dolphin" is inspired by the true story of a dolphin named Winter who was rescued off the Florida coast and taken in by the Clearwater Marine Aquarium.

The movie version centers on a boy who befriends an injured dolphin who lost her tail in a crab trap. Through their bond and friendship, the boy motivates everyone around him to help save the dolphin by creating a prosthetic appendage to replace the dolphin's tail. The marine mammal's strong survival instincts become an inspiration to people with special needs throughout the world.

Connick Jr. plays a vet who rescues the mammal and brings her to runs the marine hospital he runs. Judd plays the boy's mother while Freeman is a doctor who creates a prosthetic limb for Winter.

Karen Janszen ("A Walk to Remember") wrote the screenplay, with revisions by Smith and Jordan Roberts. It is based on an original treatment by Noam Dromi.

Alcon's co-CEO's Andrew Kosove and Broderick Johnson will finance and produce with Alcon marketing president Richard Ingber, who brought the project to the company.

Connick Jr. worked with Alcon when he appeared in the company's Hilary Swank-Gerard Butler romantic drama "P.S. I Love You." He is repped by CAA.

"Dolphin" will be the third time Judd and Freeman have worked together. The two previously teamed up for "Kiss the Girls" and "High Crimes."

WME-repped Judd just wrapped "Flypaper," an indie comedy in which she stars opposite Patrick Dempsey.

Freeman, repped by CAA, last starred as Nelson Mandela in "Invictus" and next appears with Bruce Willis and Helen Mirren in Summit's "Red."