Summit and Participant joining forces for BP Oil Spill movie

Bringing a historical event to the big screen can be challenging.  Especially when it’s a tragedy that creates thousands of horror stories such as 9/11, Katrina, the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami or the BP oil spill last year. Summit Entertainment and Participant Productions appear to have found an “in” for the latter in the New York Times article “Deepwater Horizon’s Final Hour.”

Published on Dec. 25, 2010 and written by David Barstow, David Rohde, and Stephanie Saul, the report follows those who worked on the oil rig in the final minutes leading up to the disaster that found most of the Gulf of Mexico covered with crude oil.  The companies have brought screenwriter Matthew Sand on board to adapt the story and are in negotiations with Lorenzo Di Bonaventura (“Transformers” franchise) to produce.  Summit and Di Bonaventura recently teamed up on the hit action comedy “Red.”

In a statement from the studios, Summit”s President of Production, Erik Feig declared, “This film will portray the great heroism that took place last year on the Deepwater Horizon rig and how colleagues so courageously came to each others aide.  This piece in The New York Times evoked the raw emotion these brave men experienced and endured throughout the tragedy that took place in April of last year and we hope to evoke the same emotions for our audience with this movie.”

Ricky Strauss, President of Participant Media, also chimed in noting, “This is a perfect fit for us–a suspenseful and inspiring real-life account of everyday people whose values are tested in the face of an impending environmental disaster.”

Summit and Participant have previously collaborated on “Furry Vengeance,” “Fair Game” and the upcoming drama “The Beaver.”

Considering Sand’s only completed credit is “Ninja Assassin,” both companies also made sure to point out his upcoming projects “American by Blood,” “The Summoner,” “The Red Star” and “Brothers in Arms.” Considering both Sand and Di Bonaventura’s involvement, it appears the studios are hoping for a historical action picture similar to the 2000 hit “The Perfect Storm.”

Film financing company Imagenation Abu Dhabi (“The Crazies,” “The Way Back,” “The Beaver”) is also investing in the film.