When 33 Chilean miners were rescued from a collapsed mine in 2010, more than a billion people tuned in to watch the live broadcast on television. The story, which inspired a multimillion dollar Hollywood film starring Antonio Banderas, Juliette Binoche and Martin Sheen among others, is now in the midst of recruiting stunt doubles amid a bitter dispute between the survivors and Academy Award-nominated producer Mike Medavoy.
Local newspaper La Tercera (in Spanish) reports several of the men, including Luis Urzúa, the group foreman at the time of the accident, claim they were tricked out of royalties by lawyers and abandoned by the Chilean justice system.
So far, compensation for the former employees has included a $10,000 gift each from Chilean billionaire Leonardo Farkas, and about $450 for 14 of the miners, in the form of a lifetime monthly pension.
Last year, project owners Alejandro Bohn and Marcelo Kemmeny were billed with 25% of the expenses for the rescue operation, which cost the government about $22 million.
The movie, currently being shot in Bogatá, Colombia, is about to begin the Chilean leg of the filming. La Tercera reports that, over the weekend, over 2,300 people showed up hoping to be chosen to be one of the 1,000 stunts needed.