Antonio Banderas to star in film about trapped Chilean miners

ICA Cinema

Antonio Banderas will play Mario Sepúlveda, who became the public face of the 33 Chilean miners trapped underground for 69 days three years ago, according to Deadline.

The 33, the latest film to document the miners' story, will be the official version of the tale. It has been put together with the exclusive co-operation of the men involved in the incident.

Martin Sheen and Rodrigo Santoro will also star in the film, which will be directed by Patricia Riggen (La Misma Luna) from a screenplay by Mikko Alanne and José Rivera. She expects to shoot in the autumn, once the film has secured investment at this year's Cannes film festival.

The rescue of the miners, who became trapped more than half a mile underground, was carried out by a Chile-led international taskforce and was watched by more than a billion people. Sepúlveda became known to the world as the ebullient host of regular video journals sent to the surface by the miners, earning the nickname "Super Mario".

Santoro will star as the group's second-in-command, Florencio Ávalos. Due to his youth and good health, the 31-year-old was selected as the first miner to ride the rescue capsule to the surface in case of complications during the 15-minute ascent.

It is not clear at this stage whether Sheen, who had a Spanish father and was born Ramón Antonio Gerardo Estévez, will also star as one of the miners.

Riggen's project follows a 2010 film about the Chilean miners entitled The 33 of San José. Spanish director Antonio Recio's little-seen movie emerged on DVD in a handful of European countries not long after the events it documented.

Powered by article was written by Ben Child, for on Monday 20th May 2013 12.48 Europe/London © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010