Deepwater Horizon Reaches the Silver Screen

Published Mar 24, 2016 8:58 PM by The Maritime Executive

On Thursday, Lionsgate released the first trailer for its Mark Wahlberg / Kurt Russell feature film based on the Deepwater Horizon blowout. "Deepwater Horizon," in wide release September 30, stars Wahlberg as the rig's chief electronics technician, Mike Williams; the supporting cast includes Kate Hudson,  Dylan O'Brien, Gina Rodriguez and John Malkovich.

The film's plot is based on events immediately before and after the blowout at the Macondo well in April 2010, and is reportedly derived from a New York Times article reconstructing the rig’s final day. 

11 crewmembers died in the blast, including many who were working on the drilling floor. While human error was a factor in the blowout and the immediate response, the timeline shows that many more would have perished if not for timely and often heroic action by their crewmates.

The trailer depicts a man-versus-beast battle between the crew and the oil, as narrated by Williams' daughter in the family kitchen. A can of Coca-Cola stands in for the oil resevoir.

Six years after, the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon incident continues to affect law, policy and public opinion in the U.S. Opposition to exploration leases off the Atlantic coast cited the blowout as a reason to avoid additional offshore drilling, and contributed to the cancellation of the planned East Coast lease blocks earlier this month. The final criminal trial related to Macondo finished with an acquittal in February; a suit by Gulf of Mexico E&P firms against BP for losses from the federal response to the spill was dismissed in March. In a sign of long-lasting effects to come, BP released its comprehensive plan for spill pollution mitigation earlier this month, proposing a 15-year, $9 billion program to restore habitat and provide for monitoring and oversight.  The plan is part of a consent decree to settle all remaining claims against the firm.