Posted on Wednesday, March 9th, 2011 by Adam Quigley
Chances are you’re familiar with the Deepwater Horizon, the drilling rig that suffered a blowout and wound up causing the second largest environmental disaster in U.S. history. Well, surprise, Hollywood wants to make a movie about it. Learn more after the break.
Variety reports that development has launched on a feature centered on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig tragedy that occurred on April 20, 2010, killing 11 workers and injuring 16 others. The parties responsible are Summit Entertainment, Participant Media and Imagenation Abu Dhabi, who optioned the rights to The New York Times piece “Deepwater Horizon’s Final Hour” (written eight months after the explosion by David Barstow, David Rohde, and Stephanie Saul). That article will inform the events of the film, with screenwriter Matthew Sand (co-writer of Ninja Assassin) tapped to adapt it.
Here’s a sample of the The New York Times piece:
The worst of the explosions gutted the Deepwater Horizon stem to stern. Crew members were cut down by shrapnel, hurled across rooms and buried under smoking wreckage. Some were swallowed by fireballs that raced through the oil rig’s shattered interior. Dazed and battered survivors, half-naked and dripping in highly combustible gas, crawled inch by inch in pitch darkness, willing themselves to the lifeboat deck. It was no better there.
That’s only the opening paragraph. The rest of the article is just as captivating, providing a heavily detailed and intimately intense depiction of what happened that day. You can read the full article here.
Like the article, the film will focus on the courage of those who worked on the oil rig and the final minutes leading up to the disaster. Deadline informs that Lorenzo di Bonaventura will produce — an odd fit, to say the least. Bonaventura has previously produced movies such as G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, Salt, Red, Shooter, and the Transformers films.
Says Summit head of production Erik Feig:
This film will portray the great heroism that took place last year on the Deepwater Horizon rig and how colleagues so courageously came to each other’s aide. This piece in The New York Times evoked the raw emotion these brave men experienced and endured throughout the tragedy that took place in April of last year and we hope to evoke the same emotions for our audience with this movie.
Imagenation CEO Michael Garin shared Feig’s sentiments, explaining:
This powerful account truly represents the ideal aims of storytelling, where the search for the truth uncovers everyday heroism in the face of adversity, and so is destined to be an important film appealing to international audiences all over the world.
Participant president Ricky Strauss, meanwhile, added that:
This is a perfect fit for us – a suspenseful and inspiring real-life account of everyday people whose values are tested in the face of an impending environmental disaster.
Participant, who brought the project to Summit, has previously helped developed other politically-minded fare like Fair Game, Waiting for Superman, The Cove, Good Night, and Good Luck, and An Inconvenient Truth.
The only person we haven’t heard from, it would seem, is the man tasked with writing the film. Most would probably be quick to judge Matthew Sand on his lone credit — Ninja Assassin, for those skimming — but he also has four other projects in development (American by Blood, The Red Star, Brothers in Arms, and The Summoner). We’ll probably get some more rounded insight into his capabilities as a writer in the years ahead.
How do you guys feel about this? Might this be another United 93, or is it more likely to wind up another World Trade Center?
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