J.C. Chandor, the director behind the Robert Redford sea epic All Is Lost, is reportedly in talks to direct the movie Deepwater Horizon. The drama’s title is taken from the name of the BP oil rig that exploded in 2010.
The explosion resulted in a massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The event is considered the second largest American environmental disaster in history.
The rights to the story were acquired from the New York Times feature article titled Deepwater Horizon’s Final Hour, which was published on Christmas Day in 2010.
What’s interesting, but perhaps not too surprising, is that the film isn't expected to focus on the political issues at the heart of the oil spill.
The ethical nature of drilling for oil and the consequences of offshore drilling will be taking a backseat in favor of a story about the people caught up in the traumatic event.
— Benjamin Gershuny (@Ben_Gersh) July 11, 2014
What many forget is that the tragedy of the oil rig explosion isn’t simply about oil gushing into the gulf and the damage to animals and beaches. There were 100 people on the rig at the time of the explosion.
Eleven people were killed. Sixteen others were seriously injured.
There are dozens of stories to be told, dozens of points of view. And that is what Chandor will likely key in on.
The removal of a political angle might upset quite a few individuals, who no doubt see this as a wasted opportunity to explore the morality of drilling.
The offended parties should remember that this is Hollywood we’re talking about.
Whenever a newsworthy and far-reaching event happens, somebody somewhere is going to want to make a movie about it.
— Alex Billington (@firstshowing) July 11, 2014
The thing is, these movies are typically barely based on the actual events and “creative liberties” are taken. The reason is usually because movie audiences prefer fiction to rigid interpretation brought forth in the form of documentaries.
At best we can hope this movie humanizes participants and evokes memorable imagery while being faithful to the emotional impact of the tragic oil rig explosion.
Whether Chandor will deliver in this regard remains to be seen. However given Chandor's previous body of work, there is potential.
Image via YouTube