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When there was an explosion on a BP oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, it spewed oil into the water for 87 days. Peter Berg (Battleship) is turning the real life disaster into a cinematic thriller, Deepwater Horizon, and in the process he’s putting together an impressive cast. There were a couple of stars already in place, and they just added two more high-profile actors to beef up the call sheet.
There were eleven crew members killed in the blast, and Berg, who took over the project after J.C. Chandor (A Most Violent Year) left over creative differences, has said that he wants to tell the story about the "real heroes" working on the rig. He hopes to honor the ones aboard who tried to prevent the explosion and subsequent calamity, and it sounds like he’s taking a similar approach as he did with the real life Navy SEALs in Lone Survivor. Let’s take a look at the key members of the cast, starting with the newest additions.
Dylan O'BrienDeadline reports that Dylan O’Brien is in talks to join Deepwater Horizon in the role of Caleb Holloway. He is the youngest member of the crew on the oil rig, and though he survives the blast, he is traumatized by the death of his compatriots. You have to imagine much of his story involves coming to grips with this tragedy and struggling to survive. O’Brien is best known for two roles, playing Stiles in MTV’s updated Teen Wolf series, which is better than you might initially expect, and he also leads the pack in the latest dystopian young adult franchise, The Maze Runner. Last summer, the low-budget adaptation of James Dashner’s best selling novels was a surprise hit, and the sequel, The Maze Runner: Scorch Trials, comes out later this year.
Kurt RussellKurt Russell should need no introduction. He’s been kicking ass on screen in every way you possible can for decades now, turning out classics like Escape From New York and Big Trouble in Little China in the process. Variety reports that he’s is in talks to join the Deepwater Horizon party, though there are no details on his role just yet. It’s easy to imagine him playing a tough, seasoned veteran who knows something is wrong and heroically tries to avert disaster. Lots of you encountered him recently in Furious 7, where he plays a mysterious government spook named Mr. Nobody, but we’ll also see him soon in Quentin Tarantino’s upcoming western The Hateful Eight, and there are reports that he’ll have a beefed up role in Fast & Furious 8, whenever that happens.
Gina RodriguezGina Rodriguez, fresh off winning a Golden Globe for her star-making turn in Jane the Virgin, which is delightful, joined the cast last month. She signed on to play a woman named Andrea Fleytas, who has a key role in the disaster and the aftermath. The 23-year-old Fleytas was hired to monitor the safety systems on the Deepwater Horizon. In the wake of the disaster, as the investigation attempted to discover the exact cause, it was confirmed that the overwhelmed young crewmember didn’t sound the alarm in time when the situation began to deteriorate because the company had neglected to train her properly.
Mark WahlbergWhile all these other actors are nice, it’s Mark Wahlberg who is the big star and centerpiece of Deepwater Horizon. He’s set to play the number two manager on the doomed oil platform, Mike Williams, in the story that is said to be a behind-the-scenes account of the 48 hours leading up to the catastrophe, including how his character and the other members of his team try to prevent disaster. The Matthew Michael Carnahan-penned script will also deal with the lesser-known story of the attempts to rescue the surviving members of the crew afterwards. This reteams Wahlberg and director Peter Berg, who worked together on Lone Survivor back in 2013. They must have gotten along at least reasonably well on that picture, because not only are they together again on this new harrowing tale of survival, but they’re also slated to work with one another on the upcoming reboot of The Six Billion Dollar Man (price adjusted for inflation).
Deepwater Horizon has its eye on a summer shoot and is scheduled for release on September 30, 2016.