Antonio Banderas will star in a movie as one of the 33 Chilean miners trapped deep underground for more than two months in 2010, and the charismatic survivor he’s playing couldn’t be happier.
Mike Medavoy, producer of “The 33,” announced on Sunday at the Cannes Film Festival that Banderas will play Mario Sepulveda, who known as “Super Mario” became the public face of the miners.
The film will dramatize the cave-in at a mine in Chile’s Atacama desert and the globally televised rescue of the miners that mesmerized millions worldwide.
Sepulveda told the Associated Press on Monday that he’s thrilled because he’s a fan of the Spanish actor and that he hopes the movie will remind people how life is the most valuable gift.
“I’m very excited and full of anxiety. All of my mates are looking forward to this big production,” Sepulveda said.
Even in their despair, Sepulveda said, “peace, love, solidarity and teamwork” were shared by the miners who survived entrapment longer than anyone else before.
“There are people who don’t realize the value of what they have next to them. And after those 69 days we know that there’s nothing as important as being alive, being healthy and enjoying the people you love while you’re alive,” he said.
“I’m thankful for things in life,” said Sepulveda, an electrician who earns a living giving motivational speeches. “Some are good, others bad, but God gave us another chance … The door that was opened for us is huge.”
Variety magazine say production for “The 33” is scheduled to start in the fall in Chile. The film will be directed by Mexican filmmaker Patricia Riggen. Martin Sheen and Rodrigo Santoro are also on the cast.
MacFarlane out as Oscars host
Seth MacFarlane is too busy to host the Oscars in 2014.
The multitalented comedian says on Twitter that he “tried to make it work schedule-wise, but I need sleep.”
MacFarlane said in his tweet Monday that Academy Awards producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron are among the best in the business. Zadan and Meron produced this year’s Oscar show, which earned higher ratings among coveted younger viewers, and will be returning for the 2014 telecast.
MacFarlane earned mixed reviews for his first outing as Oscar host in February, with some finding his material sexist and anti-Semitic.
The creator of “Family Guy” suggested Oscar producers tap the eccentric actor Joaquin Phoenix to host the show.
The birthday bunch
Singer Ron Isley (The Isley Brothers) is 72. Guitarist Hilton Valentine (The Animals) is 70. Actor Mr. T is 61. Actress Lisa Edelstein (“House”) of 47. Actress Sarah Ramos (“Parenthood”) is 22.