Jennifer Lopez, who rose to fame in the United States as a musical artist before crossing over into film, is lined up to star in the upcoming film “The 33” that centers on the ordeal of the Chilean miners who were trapped underground for 69 days in 2010.
The incident made international headlines in August 2010 when the 33 miners became trapped 700 meters below ground deep in the Atacama Desert just north of the city of Copiapó. The intense, life-threatening situation came just a little over six months after the devastating earthquake and tsunami that had hit Chile earlier that year. The country rallied around the men and their families as everyone held their breath and prayed.
The Chilean government collaborated with international organizations, including NASA, in using all available resources to rescue the men. Billions around the world were glued to television screens as the rescue unfolded, and all 33 men were brought back to the surface.
This will be the first major film role for Lopez after her role as Leslie Rodgers opposite Jason Statham in action thriller “Parker,” released in January of this year. Although she has continued with film since landing breakout roles such as Selena Quintanilla-Perez in the bio-pic of the young latina singer, she recently took time away from acting to serve as a judge on the widely popular show “American Idol.”
Lopez is the latest big name to join the crew of the film, currently in pre-production and set to hit theaters in 2014. She is lined up to play the role of María Segovia, the wife of Mario Sepúlveda, one of the miners who became the spokesperson for the group and earned the nickname “Super Mario” for his enthusiasm and charisma in video images sent to the surface. Mario is being played by Spanish star Antonio Banderas.
The cast also includes Martin Sheen, who will be playing Mario Sepúlveda’s father, and renowned Brazilian actor Rodrigo Santoro as Florencio Ávalos. Ávalos gained fame as the first of the 33 to ride the rescue capsule to the surface.
“The 33” is being directed by Patricia Riggen, who gained success with “Under the Same Moon” (La misma luna). The screenplay was written by Mikko Alanne and Jose Rivera, after the rights were secured in 2011. The crew is rounded out by Chilean entrepreneurs Carlos Eugenio Lavín and Leopoldo Enriquez, who are the film’s executive producers.