The August 2010 Copiapó, Chile mining accident that left 33 miners trapped undergound for 69 days was huge around-the-clock news and it was only time before a movie was made about the incident with the rights sold to producer Mike Medavoy. It was Medavoy who announced at Cannes that actor Antonio Banderas will star in the movie The 33 playing the role of Mario Sepulveda, the charismatic miner known as “Super Mario.”
La Misma Luna director Patricia Riggen was attached to direct last September with Martin Sheen and Rodrigo Santoro already on board as part of the cast and production is set to begin in Chile this fall with Ed McGurn producing.
The screenplay, written by Mikko Alanne and Jose Rivera, was developed in collaboration with the miners, their rescuers and families, producer Medavoy having lived in Chile for a decade, according to the story on Variety. The international efforts to rescue the miners was watched worldwide by a billion people making it one of the defining news moments of that year.
Medavoy is a legendary Hollywood producer who has been making movies literally for over four decades, his latest productions including Darren Aronofsky's Oscar-nominated Black Swan and Martin Scorsese's Shutter Island. Banderas will next be seen in Robert Rodriguez's sequel Machete Kills.