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BP oil spill disaster heading to bigscreen

Summit partners with Participant on 'Deepwater Horizon' story

Summit Entertainment and Participant Media have launched development of feature centered on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig tragedy.

Summit and Participant, in association with Imagenation Abu Dhabi, announced Tuesday that they have acquired feature rights to The New York Times article “Deepwater Horizon’s Final Hour,” written in December by David Barstow, David Rohde, and Stephanie Saul. The companies plan to co-finance.

The April 20 explosion of Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico killed 11 men working on the platform and injured 17 others. The subsequent gusher wasn’t capped until July.

The companies have tapped Matthew Sand to adapt “Deepwater,” aimed at focusing on the courage of those who worked on the oil rig and the final minutes leading up to the disaster.

Summit’s negotiating with Lorenzo Di Bonaventura (“Red,” the “Transformers” franchise) to produce through Di Bonaventura Pictures.

“This film will portray the great heroism that took place last year on the Deepwater Horizon rig and how colleagues so courageously came to each other’s aide,” said Summit production prexy Erik Feig. “This piece in The New York Times evoked the raw emotion these brave men experienced and endured throughout the tragedy that took place in April of last year and we hope to evoke the same emotions for our audience with this movie.”

Participant, which has been in financial partnership with Imagenation since 2008, has focused on issue-oriented projects such as “An Inconvenient Truth,” “Good Night, and Good Luck,” “The Cove,” “Waitinf ro Superman” and “Fair Game.”

Imagenation CEO Michael Garin said of the “Deepwater” project, “This powerful account truly represents the ideal aims of storytelling, where the search for the truth uncovers everyday heroism in the face of adversity, and so is destined to be an important film appealing to international audiences all over the world.”

Sand’s penned screenplays for upcoming projects including “american By Blood,” “The Summoner,” “The Red Star” and “Brothers in Arms.”

Feig and Geoff Shaevitz are overseeing “Deepwater” for Summit. Participant president Ricky Strauss and Jonathan King are overseeing for Participant.

Participant brought the project into Summit. “This is a perfect fit for us – a suspenseful and inspiring real-life account of everyday people whose values are tested in the face of an impending environmental disaster,” Strauss said.

ICM represents The New York Times and packaged the project. Sand is represented by ICM, Circle of Confusion, and Gang, Tyre, Ramer and Brown.

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