The 2010 explosion in the Gulf of Mexico triggered an environmental catastrophe and resulted in unbelievable human heroism – so it was a natural fit for Hollywood. But what do you do when your film leads you into conflict with a corporate oil giant? The film’s director, Peter Berg, explains

When you start working on a film, you make your plans. First, there’s the script development, sharpening the screenplay, making sure that characters resonate and pop and are as colourful as they can be. Then there’s preparation, which usually means research, meeting with the people that inhabit the culture you are making the film about, and understanding all the peripheral players in that world. After I came aboard Deepwater Horizon, I jumped into the script, went down to Louisiana – and very quickly realised this was different. We were dealing with a culture of litigation.

Because the explosion and oil spill was so huge, that’s what dominated the area. You would go to these small towns in southern Louisiana, places you had never heard of, such as Port Fourchon, and you would see harbours full of boats with brand-new shiny engines, new trucks, people wearing brand-new Rolexes and new shoes. So many lawyers had moved in, there were so many lawsuits, and everyone who lived in that area had sued BP and made millions of dollars. They called them “spillionaires”. A lot of people got rich – some deserved it, some probably didn’t.

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Source: Guardian Environment