Antonio Banderas to play "Super Mario" in Chilean miner film 'The 33'

Before the victims of August 2010's Chilean mine accident had been pulled to safety, plans were already underway for their story to be brought to the silver screen. Initially it was Rodrigo Ortuzar who was filming literally at the camp site set aside for families of the miners while they awaited rescue. Titled The 33, the film never came to pass under Ortuzar's dubious guidance, which never seemed to have the best of intentions despite has claims otherwise. But it did eventually get the green light with Patricia Riggen (Under the Same Moon, Girl in Progress) at the helm. With Martin Sheen and Rodrigo Santoro already on board, Antonio Banderas has signed on to play the most charismatic figure from the entire ordeal.

Banderas will take on the role of Mario Sepulveda, who became known as "Super Mario" for the energy and humor he presented in the video journals he and the other miners sent to reassure their families. Sepulveda was 40 at the time so that means his character is going to be aged up for Banderas who is in his 50s. Jose Rivera (The Motorcycle Diaries, On the Road) co-wrote the script, which will chronicle the 69 day ordeal which became headline news worldwide and was broadcast around-the-clock on many networks.

Filming on The 33 is set to begin this fall. Banderas will be seen later this year in Pedro Almodovar's I'm So Excited, and Robert Rodriguez's Machete Kills.