Hamilton

Esther the Wonder Pig going Hollywood in feature film

The owners of Esther the Wonder Pig say they have signed on with a major Hollywood production company to produce a film based on their beloved 285-kilogram porker.

Production company now working on screenplay based on life of 285-kilogram pig

Writers are currently working on a screenplay based on the life of Esther the Wonder Pig. (Steve Jenkins/Facebook)

Southern Ontario's most popular pig is about to get a whole lot more famous.

The owners of Esther the Wonder Pig say they have signed on with a major Hollywood production company to produce a film based on their beloved 285-kilogram porker.

"We're ridiculously excited," said Steve Jenkins, who affectionately refers to himself as Esther's "dad," alongside his partner, Derek Walter.

"It's surreal, really. It's hard to believe it's actually happening."

The pair is working with the Donners' Company, best known for being behind the X-Men movies, Deadpool, and one of the most famous films about an animal of all time — Free Willy.

They'll be adapting the pair's first two non-fiction books, which chronicle how Esther came barreling into their lives. Screenwriters are now on board working on a script, but no director or actors are attached just yet.

"Derek and I have put our requests in for Channing Tatum and Zac Efron, obviously," but we'll see how it pans out," Jenkins said with a laugh.

Esther rose to worldwide fame (she now has almost 1.5 million likes on Facebook) after Jenkins and Walter adopted her in the summer of 2012, thinking she was a micro pig.

Instead, it turned out she was a full-sized commercial pig, and within three years, had grown bigger than they could have imagined.

Canadian authors Steve Jenkins and Derek Walter spend time with their pig Esther at their animal sanctuary in Campbellville, Ont., on Wednesday, July 11, 2018. (Hannah Yoon/Canadian Press)

After it became clear she needed more space, the pair bought a farm in Campbellville, Ont.​, and have turned it into a sanctuary for animals in need.

Esther has endured hardship, too — she was diagnosed with cancer, but underwent a successful operation last year to remove four masses from her mammary glands and two lymph nodes.

Now, she's doing well, and is leaving a legacy to help other animals, too. Esther's supporters successfully fundraised more than $750,000 to buy a massive CT scanner as part of her treatment, which is the first of its kind in Canada that was big enough to hold a pig of her size.

That scanner will now be used by other animal charities and rescue organizations.

Esther herself won't star in the movie, Jenkins said, but she may make a cameo depending on where it is filmed. Jenkins and Walter plan to be on set as consultants, so they can supervise and make sure any animals included in the filming are treated properly.

"Esther changed everything about our lives," Jenkins said. "What we thought about pigs and what we thought we knew about pigs or farmed animals in general was so far from what they actually are."

"That's what Esther the wonder pig is all about, is helping everyone know that — showing them this different side of an animal that they think they know a lot about that they really don't."

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