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Chilean copper miners' drama set for silver screen

The story of the 33 Chilean miners trapped for ten weeks last year is to be made into a major Hollywood movie.

Luis Urzua (left), the last of the miners to be rescued, sings the national anthem with Chilean president Sebastian Pinera.
Luis Urzua (left), the last of the miners to be rescued, sings the national anthem with Chilean president Sebastian Pinera.
Image: Rescate Mineros via Flickr

THE 33 MINERS who were trapped underground for ten weeks after an accident at the Copiapó mine in Chile last year are to see their story made into a major movie.

The miners have sold the film rights for their story to Mike Medavoy, who produced Natalie Portman’s Oscar-winning Black Swan.

Reuters quoted miner Juan Andrés Illanes (‘number 3′) as saying the film would be the “only official and authorised film about what we lived in the San Jose mine. Much of our story has never been told.”

The Daily Telegraph adds that Brad Pitt was purported to be among the other parties interested in acquiring the film rights, but that the Hollywood Reporter had been the first to confirm Medavoy’s acquisition.

“Like millions of people around the world, I was completely engrossed watching the rescue at Copiapo,” Medavoy commented in a statement.

“At its heart, this is a story about the triumph of the human spirit and a testament to the courage and perseverance of the Chilean people. I can’t think of a better story than this one to bring to the screen.”

Dubbed ‘Los 33′, the group of copper miners were trapped underground for between 69 and 70 days after the roof of their mine collapsed on August 5 last year.

TVNZ recalls that some of the group contemplated cannibalism and suicide while trapped 700m underground, before the trapped men were able to send a message to the surface confirming that they had all survived the collapse.

Production is set to begin in the middle of next year.

Previously: Timeline of a truly great escape >

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Gavan Reilly

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