Deals already on offer for Chilean miners' story

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - The Chilean miners’ rescue that is capturing the world’s attention will certainly have a deju-vu effect when the heroic rescue scene is replayed again in the inevitable news program features and movie and book spin-offs.

In fact, even before the last miner was lifted to safety, multiple offers of book, movie and exclusive interview deals were making their way to the families of those who had already been rescued, according to reports by trade magazine Broadcasting & Cable.

One of the first projects to focus on the rescue of more than two dozen workers from a collapsed mine in Copiapo, Chile, is “33 Men, Buried Alive: The Inside Story of the Trapped Chilean Miners,” a book by The Guardian contributor Jonathan Franklin, due for publication in the U.K. in early 2011.

According to Broadcasting & Cable’s reports, industry observers estimate that rights to the miners’ story could fetch several hundred thousand dollars, and TV interviews could bring in $20,000 -- not a bad deal for the miners, whose annual income ranges from 4 to 9 million pesos ($4,000-$19,000).

Additionally, endorsement deals for the obvious (mining equipment) and the unexpected (beer) have been being offered to the miners via their families.

These new media stars won’t be making the transition into the spotlight completely in the dark. Just before the rescue mission began, the safety inspector at the mine briefed the trapped miners on how to handle the media inquiries that would soon surface.