Documenting the tragedy of the 2010 off-shore explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, the film production Deepwater Horizon is gaining momentum as it solidifies its cast. With Mark Wahlberg (Lone Survivor, Pain & Gain) already signed on to the project, Lionsgate is currently in talks with Gina Rodriguez to play a vital part in the docu-drama.
Rodriguez, who reportedly was offered the part instead of Kristen Stewart, would embody the role of Andrea Fleytas: a navigator on board the oil rig who noticed the initial spill, alerted the coast guard of the issue, and was then detained for her actions. She would play opposite Wahlberg’s character Mike Williams, who was an electrician on the ill-fated rig.
Directed by Peter Berg (Lone Survivor), Deepwater Horizon is a screenplay written by Matthew Carnahan (Showtime’s House of Lies), but its source material can be found in the 2011 New York Times article entitled “Deepwater Horizon’s Final Hours” which chronicles the terrible event in detail. Berg is replacing J.C. Chandor (A Most Violent Year) as director, who initially helmed the production up until January of this year but walked away due to “creative differences”.
Rodriguez is still a relatively unknown actor, although her performance as Majo Tonorio in Filly Brown won her attention at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. Her breakout television role as Jane Villanueva in the dramedy Jane the Virgin won her a Golden Globe award in 2015, and as her notoriety gradually expands, Rodriguez is sharply aware of what she represents as a Puerto Rican in mainstream American media:
There are two things that are important to me: changing the way Latinos are viewed in the industry and in media, because the way I saw my culture was poor. Not poor like economically, but in a poor light. And that’s not true…I want to make sure that every role I do contributes to that greater role.
This marks Rodriguez’s first major motion picture drama, joining the ranks of Wahlberg and Berg- both of which are entering familiar territory, having worked together on intensely dramatic, adrenaline-pumping fare like the gritty war drama Lone Survivor; that story, like Deepwater Horizon, was adapted from a true life event as well.
There are whispers circulating that Lionsgate wants Liam Neeson and Michael Keaton to co-star in Deepwater Horizon as well, but these claims have yet to be substantiated. The movie is in pre-production now, and slated for a September 2016 release date.
Rodriguez just wrapped production on the indie romantic comedy Sharon 1.2.3, written and directed by Barbershop creator Mark Brown, and is rumored to have started work on the indie political drama This Shining City.