Per Deadline, a hot package has emerged on the eve of next week’s Cannes Film Market. Woody Harrelson, Simu Liu, and Djimon Hounsou have signed on to star in Last Breath, a fact-based thriller directed by Alex Parkinson, who co-directed the 2019 documentary of the same name the film is based on.
The film focuses on a diver who gets stranded on bottom of the North Sea, and when his umbilical cord snaps because of rough seas and an equipment mishap on the ship above, he is left with only five minutes of oxygen, in total darkness and freezing water, with no chance of rescue for at least thirty minutes.
The film is being described as a mix between Apollo 13 and The Perfect Storm, and an ode to the life saving ingenuity that is the only chance of keeping an impossible rescue situation from turning tragic. Mitchell LaFortune has written the script.
The diving technique the documentary focuses on is called Saturation Diving. It’s not for everyone, as it requires the diver to be in a tightly confined space and able to keep their emotions in check and not panic as the tissues in their body are flooded with gases to allow survival in the pressure of 100 meter depths as they execute repairs on oil drilling equipment.
It’s such a jarring pressure process that it takes four days to bring the divers back to the surface and regain pressure equilibrium, or else they would essentially explode. That’s what’s known as ‘the bends.’ The real diver who found himself untethered from the umbilical cord is named Chris Lemons, and Deadline reports that the actor to play him will be cast shortly.
Harrelson, Liu, and Hounsou will play members of the team trying to rescue Lemons from his life-threatening predicament. While the project is only in early stages of development, the fact that it has a thrilling true story behind it should mean the film has plenty of suitors at the Cannes Film Market.
We’ll wait and see who purchases the rights to Last Breath at the Cannes Film Festival, and whether it can hit the box office heights Apollo 13 or The Perfect Storm did, or ends up like 2010’s Buried, a similar film that was well-liked but only did mediocre box office numbers.