Underground hit? Brad Pitt bids millions for 'Los 33' – the movie
The drama of their captivity, rescue and love lives captivated TV audiences around the world. Now the film rights to the Chilean miners' dusky fight for survival are being sought by Brad Pitt.
The actor's production company, Plan B Entertainment, is understood to have made a multi-million pound offer for the chance to dramatise the events which unfolded at the San Jose copper-gold mine in August, where 33 men were trapped for 69 days.
A local Chilean lawyer, Edgardo Reinoso, who represents the men, has confirmed Pitt's approach, and said that some of the miners were set to have acting roles in the movie. It is unclear whether Pitt himself is keen to appear. Mr Reinoso also reportedly claimed that the miners are trying to set up a holding company to ensure that all proceeds from the sale of their harrowing ordeal are distributed fairly among their number.
Survival stories are currently proving a hit with cinema audiences. Danny Boyle's 127 Hours, which tells the tale of hiker Aron Ralston's entrapment beneath a boulder in an isolated canyon, has garnered almost completely positive reviews across the board since its release in the US ear-lier this month.
Reinoso told the newspaper El Mercurio that he had been inundated with offers since the miners' dramatic rescue on 13 October. He has claimed to be fielding 10 offers a day from companies proposing books, television series and films about the miners' plight.
One intriguing sub-plot could be the story of Yonni Barrios, who was initially revered as the group's doctor who used the knowledge he had gleaned from looking after his diabetic mother to work with medical teams on the surface to diagnose and help the men trapped with him. But the 50-year-old soon became better known for having both his wife and mistress keeping a vigil for him at Camp Hope, where families had gathered to hear news of their loved ones.
Marta Salinas, whom he married 28 years ago, reportedly almost came to blows with Susana Valenzuela with the two eventually being pulled apart. As his wife tried to get involved at Camp Hope, he instructed teams on the surface to deal with his mistress instead.
Plan B has produced several other Hollywood films including The Time Traveler's Wife, Kick-Ass, and Eat, Pray, Love. Although theirs will not be the first film about the miners' story, it will surely have the largest budget. Last month it was reported that the locally produced 33 of San Jose, by director Antonio Recio, was attracting interest from British distributors. The movie was shot in a mine shaft close to the one where the actual accident took place and features a cast of 32 Chilean actors and one Bolivian star.
The film ends with news footage of the miners' return to the surface. A trailer on the internet promises: "You've seen the outside, now take a glimpse of what it was like inside." Plan B was unavailable for comment.
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