American Gladiators, green books and movies, and An Inconvenient Truth: the opera


American Gladiators “going green?!” That’s what the TV promos spout, referring to the Green Hulk’s appearance on the show. In theaters this weekend the Edward Norton film, The Incredible Green Hulk, did greenify production. Its producer Gale Ann Hurd consulted with the Environmental Media Association (EMA) on raising the green standards for the movie, from building green sets to carbon offsetting. Perhaps nudged by Norton who’s long been a supporter of BP’s Solar Neighbor’s program? 

Last week, a flurry of eco-activity included: Gov. Arnold Schwarznegger and Mayor Michael Bloomberg joining UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon to support the TOGETHER campaign, outlining easy ways to fight global warming, or as the Terminator put it: saying “hasta la vista to climate change.” Ted Danson’s Oceana org celebrated World Ocean Day on Sunday, June 8 with Rosario Dawson, Bob Woodruff, and La Mer, which launched their World Ocean Day Crème and donated $100,000 to save oceans. Across the pond, Prince Charles announced his Rainforests Project. And comedic actors Jim Carey and Jenny McCarthy weren’t yukking it up as they rallied in Washington D.C. for Green Our Vaccines, an effort to eliminate toxins from children’s vaccinations suspected of causing autism.

Burn Up, a new mini-series drama about the clash between oil companies and environmentalists, stars Bradley Whitford (The West Wing) and Neve Campbell (Party of Five), who plays a greenwash decoy unwittingly working for Big Oil. There are no plans for any U.S. television network to air the British/Canadian production (a conflict of interest with sponsors, perhaps?), so try finding it on the BBC or Global starting this Tuesday and Wednesday.

British writer Ian McEwan (Atonement) is working on a new novel involving a Nobel Prize-winning physicist and climate change. It’s inspired by an adventurous expedition the author took with artists and scientists aboard a scientific ship near the North Pole, and promises to show the amusing side of saving the planet.

Okay, so eco-themes are ubiquitous, from TV and films to books and now theater. La Scala, Milan’s legendary opera house, has commissioned a work based on Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth. Perhaps a curious choice of subject matter, though arias do tend toward the melodramatic. Its avant-garde composer, Giorgio Battistelli, known for a percussive symphony with blacksmiths, carpenters, and bricklayers, may rattle some recycling bins and plastic bottles. The premiere is scheduled for 2011.

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