Pioneering divers who built the foundations of the North Sea oil and gas industry are to have their incredible story turned into a Hollywood movie – thanks to George Clooney.
The Ocean’s Eleven star’s own production company is drawing up plans to tell the tales of Norwegian divers who put their lives on the line to secure the country’s vast oil wealth.
The extraordinary feats of the 24 men are already the subject of a low-budget Norwegian thriller, Pioneer, which opens in British cinemas on Friday.
Now, Smokehouse Pictures, run by Clooney and his producing partner, Grant Heslov, is to remake the film.
The movie is based on the true story of the men who risked their lives in the North Sea for lucrative oil and gas industry work.
They were not informed about the dangers it posed to their lives at depths of up to 1,300ft – far deeper than the current accepted safe limit of about 500ft – and many died.
The physical and psychological trauma suffered included lung and brain damage, loss of concentration, and hearing and visual impairment.
The divers sued the Norwegian state, some battling for 21 years for adequate compensation.
Judges at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg awarded them damages of less than £7,000 each in December 2013.
Incumbent Norwegian Labour and Social Affairs Minister Robert Eriksson subsequently met the divers this year in an effort to reach final agreement.
Last week, he said divers and surviving relatives of the deceased would each be awarded an additional £170,000. Some have still vowed to fight on.