As reported exclusively by Deadline, Mark Wahlberg will star in Deepwater Horizon, J.C. Chandor’s movie about the disastrous BP oil spill that occurred in 2010. The film will recount the heroic events of the oil rig’s crew over the course of 48 hours leading up to and on the day of the spill. Wahlberg will play a second-in-command manager on the rig.
This is the first piece of casting on a project we’ve been following since its initial announcement. In looking at the project, one can’t help but think of similar docu-dramas built around harrowing events, like Paul Greengrass’s United 93 and Captain Phillips. Chandor seems well-suited to the material, having directed the man-at-sea survival thriller All Is Lost last year, and having just completed the action-drama A Most Violent Year, which will be released this fall. Interestingly, Deepwater Horizon will be the first movie directed by Chandor that he didn’t also write himself. The writers in this case are Matthew Michael Carnahan (State of Play) and Matthew Sand (Ninja Assassin), who were working off an article that first appeared in The New York Times.
Wahlberg, association with Michael Bay aside, continues his affinity for working with talented auteurs. Over his career he has worked with the likes of Paul Thomas Anderson (Boogie Nights), Martin Scorsese (The Departed), David O. Russell (Three Kings, I Heart Huckabees, The Fighter), and many others. Though he doesn’t often receive accolades, the Boston-born actor is actually one of the few stars who can regularly bridge the gap between fun popcorn movies and more serious-minded fare. His collaboration with Chandor here could prove to be a perfect fit.