By Melissa Platero, CCNN Writer
In 2011, aquatic dolphin star “Winter” rode the wave to success as the main character in Dolphin Tale, and this year, she’s gracing the silver screen yet again! “Winter had some demands, she knows she’s a star now,” joked director Charles Martin Smith. “I did have to throw in some higher-quality herring. She wants it fresh.” I’ve heard of Hollywood divas making crazy demands, but I’ve never heard of dolphins letting fame get to their head!
For those that may not remember, Dolphin Tale brought Winter’s riveting true story of survival to audiences everywhere. In 2005, the bottlenose mammal was caught in a crab trap that completely crushed and destroyed her tail, leaving her in a life or death situation. Luckily, the medics at Florida’s rescue center, the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, fought intensely to keep her alive. A team of specialists who make prosthetics (artificial limbs) then heard about her struggle, and built a manmade fin that would allow her to swim properly.
In Dolphin Tale 2, the story will tie together 4 real-life struggles of other animals at the aquarium, and weave them around Winter. This time around, Winter’s surrogate (substitute) mother passes away, leaving her in a funk. Actor Harry Connick Jr, who plays Dr. Clay Haskett, must then help pull the aquatic creature out of her bad mood. He does so by inviting surfer Bethany Hamilton, who had her left arm bitten by a shark while surfing, to bond with Winter over their missing limbs and obstacles.
Cozi Zuehlsdorff and Morgan Freeman also return to the water for Dolphin Tale 2 which is set to hit theaters September 19.