5 things you need to know about ‘Deepwater Horizon’

(Photo courtesy TIFF)
This year the Toronto International Film Festival will host more than one movie based on true stories and real-world events. Among them is “Deepwater Horizon,” a film about one of the most severe environmental tragedies of the modern age. The movie hits theatres on September 30th, but the world premiere will happen in Toronto at TIFF—and we’ve got everything you need to know about it right here.

1. The movie is based on events surrounding the worst oil spill in American history

In late April of 2010, offshore oil rig Deepwater Horizon exploded in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Louisiana. Eleven workers lost their lives in the incident. For the next 87 days, more than three million barrels of oil streamed into the surrounding waters, destroying marine and wildlife habitats. Last summer, a court found British Petroleum liable for $18.7 billion in fines. 

2. The cast includes real-life family members, Kate Hudson and Kurt Russell

Russell is the long-time partner of Hudson’s mother, Goldie Hawn. The couple has been together since Kate was a toddler. “Deepwater Horizon” is the first movie Kate and Kurt have worked on together. It also stars Mark Wahlberg, Gina Rodriguez, Dylan O’Brien, and John Malkovich. 

3. Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg have collaborated on a nonfiction film project once before

2013’s “Lone Survivor” saw Wahlberg playing Navy Seal Marcus Luttrell, whose mission to catch a notorious Taliban leader in Afghanistan goes awry when the enemy is alerted to the Seals’ presence and they find themselves seriously outnumbered. Wahlberg and Berg are also slated to work together on “The Six Billion Dollar Man,” currently in development. 

4. Berg recruited an actual member of the coast guard to play one in ‘Deepwater Horizon’

Graham McGinnis reports for duty as a coast guard helicopter rescue swimmer every day at a New Orleans air station. No wonder he nailed his audition. 

5. People think of the BP spill as an ecological catastrophe, but that’s not what this movie is about

"I want to make a film about people," Berg said in an interview with The Times-Picayune. "Everybody knows that there was a horrible environmental disaster. Everybody knows that a lot of animals were killed. But what people don't know is 11 men were killed and many more were injured and there were some real heroes on that rig. That was a very compelling human story—and that's the story we all want to tell."
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