On October 13, 2010, the collective gaze of one billion television viewers was trained on Chile, as the first of the 33 trapped miners emerged into the air of the Atacama desert for the first time in 69 days.
Chile’s most incredible survival story served as a worldwide inspiration, reminding billions of people of the power of human endeavor. Naturally, such an epic struggle – coupled with a fairytale ending – lends itself to the screen.
After announcing last year his intention of producing “The 33,” “Black Swan” co-producer Mike Medavoy has now revealed several members of the crew that has been assembled. Patricia Riggen, director of the critically acclaimed La Misma Luna (“Under the Same Moon”), is set to direct, and several other crew members have big name movies under their belts; “A Clockwork Orange,” “Troy,” “Clash of the Titans,” and “Terminator Salvation” to name but a few.
Medavoy, who has spent a decade living in Chile, singled out Riggen’s work on La Misma Luna as the motivator for her selection.
“I saw in her film not only her talent but the real humanity and humor that this film needs,” Medavoy said in a statement to the press. “Patricia has the heart and sensibility to bring this story to life in a way that accurately reflects what the miners and their families endured.”
The film will be shot in Chile and produced in English, and the filmmakers have thus far worked closely with the miners. Riggen recently came to Chile to meet with the miners in person as she begins her preparations.
“Since their rescue, the real story of their incredible survival has gone untold,” Riggen said in a statement to the press. “In their darkest hour, they struggled to maintain their unity. The collapse brought out the best and worst in them.”
When it became apparent that they would be rescued, the miners all swore an oath not to speak of certain events that had transpired during their ten weeks underground. However, Medavoy, who met with the miners in 2011 to secure their rights to the story, guarantees that the film will reveal many aspects of the ordeal that have not yet been made public.