Remember when gross negligence on the part of a multi-billion dollar corporation led to the largest environmental disaster in U.S. history? I hope so, cause it was only five years ago that BP’s Deepwater Horizon belched 210 million gallons of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico and did unmeasurable damage to local ecosystems along the way. Over the course of five months, the unfolding human and environmental tragedy captivated national attention and revealed the deep flaws in the regulatory oversight of deepwater drilling, all while an unstoppable plume of oil spilled forth from the rig’s broken wellhead.
Now, just when collective amnesia was scheduled to set in, Lionsgate Films and Participant Media have announced that they will be producing a film based on the rig’s explosion and its immediate aftermath, all based on the findings of a New York Times investigative piece titled “Deep Water Horizon’s Final Hour.” The film will be directed by Peter Berg with a script by Matthew Michael Carnahan, but more importantly our homegirl and Golden Globe-winning Boricua beauty Gina Rodriguez will be playing in a starring role opposite Mark Wahlberg.
With a tentative release date of September 2016, there aren’t currently a lot of details available about the film, but we can assume it centers around the nightmarish chain of events that unfolded in the moments immediately before and after a series of violent explosions leveled the rig and caused for the death of 11 workers who sadly found themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time. Rodriguez will be playing the 23-year-old navigations technician, Andrea Fleytas, who made the distress call to the U.S. Coast Guard as her fellow crew members jumped desperately from the rig into the oily waters of the Gulf to escape the rapidly spreading conflagration. (Of course, no good deed goes unpunished, and she was swiftly reprimanded by the rig’s captain, who had not directly issued the order.)
While the environmental catastrophe precipitated by Deepwater Horizon is an important lesson in the dangers of corporate irresponsibility and lax government oversight, the dramatic human events surrounding the rig’s explosion is the kind of stuff Hollywood execs wish they could dream up. Whether this one will be on the level of Titanic is for the moviegoing public to decide, but one thing is for sure: Gina Rodriguez is about to blow up for real… figuratively speaking, I mean.