The last time writer-director J.C. Chandor made a movie about a disaster on the ocean, the result was last year’s brilliant All Is Lost, starring Robert Redford as a man using his wits and expertise to stay alive after his boat is irreparably damaged. Now Chandor may be headed back out to sea, to make a movie based on The New York Times’ article “Deepwater Horizon’s Final Hours.” Deadline is reporting that Chandor is in talks to direct Deepwater Horizon for Summit and Participant, which bought the rights to the Times story back in 2012. The film will be about the events leading up to the explosion that killed 11 people on the Gulf Of Mexico oil rig, and will deal more with the efforts of the men aboard to prevent the catastrophe than with the environmental devastation of its aftermath.
Chandor has written the screenplays for all three of his feature films thus far—All Is Lost, Margin Call, and the upcoming A Most Violent Year—but there’s no word on whether he’d be writing Deepwater Horizon as well, or whether he’d use the existing script by Lions For Lambs scribe Matthew Michael Carnahan. This project does seem like a good fit for Chandor’s gifts as both a writer and a director, given how well Margin Call dramatizes a day that spins out of control, and how well All Is Lost conveys what it takes to persevere through an impossible situation. (And I’m not just saying this because I hated Lions For Lambs.) But since shooting is supposed to begin this coming winter, time may not be on Chandor’s side.