Alcon Entertainment has acquired North American and the majority of international distribution rights to Chilean mining rescue drama “The 33” and set a Nov. 13 release date in the U.S. through Warner Bros.
“The 33,” based on the 2010 Chilean mine disaster, is directed by Patricia Riggen (“Girl in Progress”) and stars Antonio Banderas, Juliette Binoche, Mario Casas, Lou Diamond Phillips, Rodrigo Santoro, Gabriel Byrne and James Brolin.
Mike Medavoy, who lived in Chile for 10 years, developed the project in cooperation with the miners, their families and rescuers, and produced the film with Robert Katz (“Crash”) and Edward McGurn.
The film tells the longest underground survival story in history, of the 33 Chilean miners who were trapped for 69 days more than 200 stories underground, enduring heat of 100 degrees Fahrenheit beneath a megaton boulder twice the size of the Empire State Building. The film was shot in real working mines in Colombia and Chile.
Banderas is portraying Mario Sepulveda, who hosted video logs to assure the public that the miners were surviving during the ordeal.
Mikko Alanne, Craig Borten (“Dallas Buyers Club”) and Michael Thomas wrote the script, based on the screen story by Jose Rivera and the book “Deep Down Dark” by Hector Tobar, the former Los Angeles Times bureau chief in Argentina and Mexico. The book has been nominated for a National Book Critics Circle award.
“The 33” will open against Open Road’s comedy-drama “Rock the Kasbah” and Paramount’s horror sequel “Rings.”
Medavoy brought the project to Alcon. The deal was negotiated by Scott Parish of Alcon and Scott Edel of Loeb & Loeb on behalf of Alcon and by Bruce Tobey of O’Melveny & Myers on behalf Medavoy and Phoenix Pictures.