Sometimes, the movies have to invent disasters—a killer asteroid here, a global warming monster there—before they reach proportions dramatic enough for the big screen. Other times, disasters happen on their own, in a way that makes it hard not to wonder if they were planned in advance by a group of Hollywood executives eager for their next hit. Take the BP oil spill: On April 20, 2010, the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, resulting in an undersea oil leak that gushed for 87 straight days. According to Deadline, that explosion spawned a New York Times article that in turn sparked a bidding war, making it only a matter of time before someone made a movie about it. That movie is Deepwater Horizon, and that time is soon.
Producers have hired J.C. Chandor to direct the movie. Chandor previously directed Margin Call—a movie about the first 24 hours of the 2008 financial crisis—and All Is Lost, a movie about Robert Redford having an unpleasant time at sea. According to Deadline, Deepwater Horizon will not be a morality tale, but rather a survival story about the courage of those who worked on the Deepwater Horizon rig. That is to say, the movie will likely sidestep the prolonged clusterfuck that followed the spill, avoiding touching on subjects like the devastating environmental impact, the resulting mass of litigation, and the time the government called in James Cameron for ideas on how to plug the leak.