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'Twilight' studio Summit will bring Gulf oil spill to the big screen

March 8, 2011 |  4:22 pm

It was riveting and often-depressing drama when it unfolded last spring. Now the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster will become a drama on the big screen.

"Twilight" studio Summit is delving into the hours leading up to the oil spill, teaming up with socially conscious producers Participant Media and Abu Dhabi company Imagenation for a movie based on the tragedy, also known as the BP disaster.

The companies have bought rights to a Christmas Day New York Times article about the hours before the initial accident. In a statement, they describe the film as tracking "the courage of those who worked on the oil rig and the final minutes leading up to the disaster that ultimately led to great devastation that will forever be remembered."

The largest accidental oil spill in history began last April; it killed 11 people and resulted in abundant quantities of crude oil flowing into the Gulf of Mexico. When it was finally capped in July, nearly 5 million barrels had entered the water, killing untold amounts of wildlife and taking a brutal toll on the local economy.

Summit’s President of Production, Erik Feig, added that the movie 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 aid. "

The project is the latest recent real-life story -- following the Chilean miners and the saga of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange -- to get some form of film treatment from Hollywood.


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-- Steven Zeitchik


Photo: An attempt last May to cap the leak. Credit: Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times