Deepwater Horizon

Gina Rodriguez is rig worker Andrea Fleytas in Deepwater Horizon

On April 20th, 2010, one of the world’s largest man-made disasters occurred on the Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico.

An insatiable demand for fuel has brought oil companies into ocean depths where humans have never before dared to labor, bolstered by new high-tech equipment capable of plunging thousands of feet below sea level, operating where humans can’t go, amid shifting sands and hazardous pockets of explosive gas. It’s a brave new world of exploration for the oil industry, but on April 20, 2010, the dangers of that world became devastatingly clear.

On that day, the Deepwater Horizon, an ultra-deep-water, advanced oil rig owned by the Swiss company Transocean and leased by British Petroleum was drilling deep in a well named Macondo about 40 miles off the Louisiana coast. Suddenly, the crew faced the greatest fear of all ocean rig workers: a ferocious blowout, caused by pockets of unstable methane shooting up the pipes with deadly force. Though equipped with a blowout preventer that included an Emergency Disconnect System (EDS), both failed to contain the blowout. The initial blowout killed 11 men who were never found, critically injured others and sparked a bold evacuation of men and women trapped amid roiling mud and fire. After two days of searing flames, the remains of the Deepwater Horizon sank 5000 feet to the ocean floor, leaving the well gushing beyond control, ultimately releasing, according to government estimates, 4.9 million barrels of oil.

The film follows a vital story that many have not seen: the story of the 126 crew members working aboard the Deepwater Horizon that day, caught in the most harrowing circumstances imaginable. They were skilled working men and women putting in a grueling shift in the hopes of getting back soon to families and lives ashore. In an instant, they were faced with their darkest hour, pushed to summon the courage to battle an unstoppable inferno blaze in the middle of the ocean, and when all seemed lost, to save one another.

The ultra deep-water drilling rig off the Louisiana coast the Deepwater Horizon riveted the world as it experienced a devastating blowout, fire and nearly unstoppable ocean floor oil leak. For 87 days millions watched, hearts in mouths, as more than 50,000 barrels of oil a day gushed from the sea floor into the Gulf of Mexico. It would become the largest accidental ocean oil spill in human history. The impact to marine life and the questions of what went wrong and why are ongoing.

DEEPWATER HORIZON brings that story to the screen with a gripping glimpse into the unseen world behind the global disaster that took the lives of 11 workers. Filmmaker Peter Berg once again collaborates with Oscar® nominated actor Mark Wahlberg sharing an untold story of men & women, real life heroes, who faced extraordinary consequences with extreme bravery. The pair previously explored a Navy SEAL team mission gone wrong in the Oscar® – nominated LONE SURVIVOR, and the duo is currently filming PATRIOT’S DAY, the story inside the dramatic events leading up to and after the Boston Marathon bombing. In DEEPWATER HORIZON, Mark Wahlberg is joined by an incredible cast including Kurt Russell, John Malkovich, Gina Rodriguez, Dylan O’Brien and Kate Hudson to bring audiences directly into, not only the events, but the charged human drama and acts of valor beneath them.

Wahlberg takes on the role of real-life Transocean chief electronics technician Mike Williams, a devoted family man who was overseeing the rig’s computers and electrical systems on April 20th, when everything he imagined could go wrong … did. Oil rig workers are a notoriously tough and gritty breed. The work is physically punishing and ultra high-pressure as workers grapple with complex equipment approximately 60- feet above remote seas. Yet even for Williams, what happened that day was unprecedented. Williams knew the work was desperately behind schedule, but he also knew the Deepwater Horizon had sophisticated defenses said to be able to prevent even the worst blowouts. Nevertheless at 10 p.m. that night, volatile

methane shot up into the rig, and all the rig’s defenses failed. The result was a sudden, deadly explosion and a series of fireballs, as the shattered rig and its crew were shaken, hurtled and drenched in combustible gas.

From that moment on, Williams was in a race to save his own life and those of his crewmates each driven by the hope of making it home — in an escape that seemed to defy all the odds.

For Berg, the story’s themes were vivid stirring and a chance to shed light on an event most often talked about in terms of the environmental, rather than human, impact. I’m drawn to tales of human courage and of the human spirit trying to triumph over real adversity — and those elements are the heart of this story,” says Berg. “The men and women aboard the Deepwater Horizon were extremely intelligent and capable and they tried everything they could to prevent the blowout. It’s important to remember that 11 people lost their lives on the rig, and more were injured. In the middle of all the deserved attention for the oil spill, that heroism has almost been lost. This film is a chance to tell that story.”