Patricia Riggen to Direct Chilean Miner Drama for Mike Medavoy (Exclusive)

Patricia Riggen previously directed "Under the Same Moon" and has been meeting with the 33 miners who survived the 69-day ordeal

Last Updated: September 11, 2012 @ 1:10 PM

Patricia Riggen, director of "Under the Same Moon (La Misma Luna)," will slide behind the camera again to tell the incredible true story of the 33 Chilean miners who were rescued after being trapped half a mile below ground for 69 days, TheWrap has learned.

Getty ImagesThe project, currently titled "The 33," will be produced by film veteran Mike Medavoy ("Black Swan," "Shutter Island").

Released in 2007, "Under the Same Moon" told the star of a Mexican boy who struggles to be reunited with his mother in the United States. In addition to "Under the Same Moon," the Mexican-born Riggen has directed the 2011 Disney Channel film "Lemonade Mouth" and "Girl in Progress," a 2012 coming-of-age drama starring Eva Mendes. 

Medavoy said Riggen's work on "Under the Same Moon" convinced him she was the right fit for the story of the real-life heroes of the San Jose mine.

“I saw in her film not only her talent but the real humanity and humor that this film needs.” Medavoy said in a statement. “Patricia has the heart and sensibility to bring this story to life in a way that accurately reflects what the miners and their families endured.”

Riggen and the producers are currently in Chile meeting with the miners.

The film will depict the mine’s collapse and ongoing rescue efforts, alternating between the miners who are trapped underground and their families and rescuers above. The script was written in collaboration with the miners themselves, and the producers promise the film will include details that have never been made public.

"It’s been an extraordinary experience to meet the miners in person and hear from them the detailed account of their time underground," Riggen said in a statement. "Since their rescue a little less than two years ago, the real story of their incredible survival has gone untold. In their darkest hour, they struggled to maintain their unity. The collapse brought out the best and the worst in them. Ultimately, the human spirit triumphed and all of them came out alive."

Medavoy, who lived in Chile for 10 years, secured all 33 of the miners’ rights to the story last year along with executive producers Carlos E. Lavin and Leopoldo Enriquez.

"The 33" will be shot entirely in Chile, but will be produced in English. Filming is scheduled to start in January 2013, with the producers eyeing a release that fall.

Discussions are under way to cast the film and find distributors. However, the production team is filling out. Edward McGurn, a longtime collaborator of Medavoy’s, is producing along with Medavoy. Also joining the team as producer is Bernie Williams ("A Clockwork Orange"), Martin Laing ("Terminator Salvation") as production designer, Rafael Cuervo ("Troy") as production manager  and Checco Varese ("True Blood") as cinematographer.

Patricia Riggen is represented at CAA.


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