EXCLUSIVE: Craig Borten has signed to rewrite/polish The 33, the survival struggle of 33 miners trapped far below the earth after a cave-in in Copiapo, Chile, in 2010. It is Borten’s first job since writing with Melissa Wallack on Dallas Buyers Club, the fact-based drama that generated strong Oscar buzz at the Toronto Film Festival.
In another development on the film, Jennifer Lopez has just dropped out of The 33, because of a scheduling problem that cropped up when she committed to a return to American Idol. The 33 will be directed by La Misma Luna’s Patricia Riggen, with Antonio Banderas and Martin Sheen committed to star in the rescue tale that is being produced by Mike Medavoy, Robert Katz and Edward McGurn. Carlos Eugenio Lavin and Leopoldo Enriquez will be exec producers. Read More »
UPDATE: WME will be pitted against rival agency UTA in the quest to set up projects about the Chilean miner rescue. Deadline previously told you that Kansas-based international drilling company Layne Christensen Company and chief driller Jeff Hart were signed by UTA to tell the story from their perspective, which shapes up as an underground Apollo 13.
Earlier, 7:09 AM: WME has added 33 new clients. They are the Chilean miners who were rescued last October after being trapped together for 69 days after the copper mine they were working in collapsed August 5, 2010 in Copiapo. The men were stuck 2000 feet underground, and were finally rescued one at a time. The miners continue to be an inspiring story of survival, though reports indicate many are still having trouble processing the ordeal.
WME will rep life rights in all areas, including TV, film, books, commercials, theater and lectures. WME has the ability to sell a rights package that will include a daily journal kept by one of the miners. They haven’t aligned with anyone until now. WME will work with Arent Fox, the law firm working with the group, as well as Chilean firms Carey y Cia and Remberto Valdes.
EXCLUSIVE: Some very interesting new details are emerging about Hollywood’s effort to bring that happy-ending Chilean-miners-trapped-underground-for-33-days story to the big screen. It turns out now that Kansas-based international drilling company Layne Christensen Company and chief driller Jeff Hart are emerging as major players in the proposed drama. Deadline has learned that the pitch is for an underground Apollo 13. Because, while the Chilean miners were anxiously awaiting rescue after nearly three months trapped more than 2000 feet underground, unfolding at the surface was a thriller involving 3 separate drilling teams racing to punch through rock and free the men. Of the three drilling efforts – nicknamed Plan A, Plan B, and Plan C — Plan B was the one that made it through to the miners, led by veteran driller Jeff Hart whose own personal story reads like it came straight from a screenplay.
The strapping 40-year-old family man was in Afghanistan drilling badly needed water wells for the U.S. military when the Chilean mine collapsed. From his remote outpost, Hart watched the news bulletins on CNN, including on the 17th day of the disaster when word came that the miners were alive. That’s when Hart got the call from Layne Christensen executive Dave Singleton to put a rescue team together and get himself to Chile where Hart would lead his drilling effort along with Layne’s sister company Geotec. The operation to create a hole big enough to free the miners took 33 … Read More »