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'The Thin Red Line' Producer & 'Motorcycle Diaries' Writer To Tell Chilean Miners' Story

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist July 25, 2011 at 9:50AM

There is nothing Hollywood likes better than a true life story of those that defied the odds, fought the elements, banded together and rose to triumph over adversity because, quite simply, it's great source material for a movie. So no surprise that last fall, the rescue of thirty-three trapped Chilean miners that riveted the world quickly became fodder for a movie. In fact, there is already one in the can, a quickie job by director Antonio Recio who helmed the “The 33 Of San Jose.” But let's be real, no one is going to see it and a much bigger production with more industry veteran names is gearing up.
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There is nothing Hollywood likes better than a true life story of those that defied the odds, fought the elements, banded together and rose to triumph over adversity because, quite simply, it's great source material for a movie. So no surprise that last fall, the rescue of thirty-three trapped Chilean miners that riveted the world quickly became fodder for a movie. In fact, there is already one in the can, a quickie job by director Antonio Recio who helmed the “The 33 Of San Jose.” But let's be real, no one is going to see it and a much bigger production with more industry veteran names is gearing up.

"The Thin Red Line" producer Mike Medavoy and Academy Award nominated "The Motorcycle Diaries" writer José Rivera are working together on an officially sanctioned movie about the miners. Here's a recap in case you somehow didn't hear about this: on August 5, 2010 the mine in Copiapó in Chile caved in, trapping thirty-three workers five kilometers below ground. At the time it was widely presumed that everyone was killed in the accident and their bodies unlikely to be recovered, but seventeen days later, a note was attached to a drill bit being used to try and locate the workers that said simply: "We are well in the shelter, the 33." The note spawned a rescue effort that spanned nations, corporations and even included NASA and on October 13, 2010 -- 69 days after being trapped -- every single miner was rescued and reunited with their families.

Powerful stuff, right? No word yet on casting though you can expect names to start surfacing (yes, that pun was intentional) soon, as a 2012 production start is being eyed. “One year after the collapse of the mine, we consider this to be a great step towards the realization of a film based on our experience in the mine. This is the only official and authorized film about what we lived in the San José mine. Much of our story has never been told,” said miner Juan Andrés Illanes in the press release announcing the project.

Certainly, it's a project with international appeal coupled with a just plain, great story. We just have one suggestion: a star-packed song made for the film not unlike "We're Sending Our Love Down The Well." [Deadline]

This article is related to: José Rivera


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