The aftershocks of the Deepwater Horizon explosion, which claimed the lives of 11 men and caused one of the worst environmental disasters in U.S. history, continue to be felt six years after it made headlines in April 2010. But Peter Berg’s new disaster movie Deepwater Horizon, named simply for the oil rig whose destruction it depicts, doesn’t dwell on what came next—the criminal proceedings against BP, the devastation of marine life, the long-term health impacts of chemical exposure. The movie situates its story squarely on the day things went fatefully wrong—the men and women who lived to tell the story and those who did not.
Front and center in Berg’s retelling is Mike Williams, a real-life oil rig worker played by Mark Wahlberg. The movie begins with a glimpse into his quiet domestic life with wife Felicia (Kate Hudson) and their young daughter, whom Williams will soon leave for a 21-day stint on the rig, 41 miles off the coast of Louisiana. We get the feeling it’s a familiar routine for the family, although of course we know this time will be different.
As the pressure builds underwater, Williams and his colleagues (played by Hudson’s stepdad Kurt Russell and Jane the Virgin star Gina Rodriguez, among others) begin to sense that something is amiss, while the BP executives onboard—including John Malkovich as corporate greed personified—dismiss the telltale signs of foreboding disaster. In this exclusive clip, we see the wrenching anxiety those dismissed warnings generate at home, where Felicia attempts to maintain composure as she grasps the reality that she may never see her husband again.
Deepwater Horizon premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and hits theaters on Sept. 30.