Tom Shadyac is producing and will direct the John Francis biopic, Planetwalker for Universal Pictures.

The film will focus on the true story of John Francis, who walked from one end of the country to the other and didn't speak a word for nearly two decades. Variety adds after witnessing a collision of two oil tankers that wiped out the ecosystem in San Francisco Bay in 1971, Francis boycotted motor vehicles and took off on foot for a cross-country pilgrimage to raise environmental awareness, taking a vow of silence that lasted 18 years. He finally broke silence when he defended his Ph.D. thesis, which he wrote on the subject of oil spills.

Justin Zackham is writing the script for Planetwalker; after he spends time with Francis, pre-production will get underway.