Antonio Banderas to star in film on Chilean miner rescue

The world-renowned actor will play the lead role in The 33, a movie about the rescue of 33 Chilean miners in 2010.

It’s official: Antonio Banderas will star in the hotly anticipated new film The 33.

The film will bring to the big screen an event that captured the world’s attention in August 2010. A mine collapse in northern Chile leaving 33 miners stranded underground for a record 69 days, but each of the men was brought out alive thanks to a successful rescue mission.

Director of The 33, Patricia Riggen, confirmed The Mask of Zorro star’s presence in the new flick, but did not specify his role.

«Antonio Banderas will be part of our ensemble of actors,” Riggen told La Tercera from Los Angeles. “We are all very happy to have him in the cast. But he is only our first confirmation and there will be many more,” the director said.

Riggen is a Mexican-American director known for her film La Misma Luna, or The Same Moon, about an illegal Mexican immigrant in the United States. Riggen was selected for the job by the film’s producer Mike Medavoy, who also produced Black Swan and Shutter Island.

According to a statement from the producer on his visit to Chile last September, The 33 will be a medium-budget production that will be shot on-location in the Atacama Desert. The producer also stated that he hopes to use some of the miner’s family members as extras in the movie.

The main writer for the film will be American José Rivera, who was nominated for an Oscar in 2004 for his screenplay for The Motorcycle Diaries. Both Rivera and Medavoy have stated on several occasions that the film will not solely focus on the rescue that occurred in October 2010, but instead explore the drama that occurred both inside and outside of the San José mine over the uncertain two month waiting period.

The 33 is currently in pre-production, and is expected to be released next year.