Producers Ronnie Screwvala and Ramesh Krishnamoorthy have optioned the rights to Dominique Lapierre and Javier Moro’s 2001 book Five Past Midnight in Bhopal: The Epic Story of the World’s Deadliest Industrial Disaster, Variety reported.
The book follows the leakage of the toxic methyl isocyanate gas at an Union Carbide India Limited pesticide plant between December 2 and 3 in 1984 and the horrific fallout, which includes thousands of casualties and lingering illness.
Attempt to convict the American Union Carbide Corporation, which owned the plant along with the Indian government, in US courts proved to be futile. Seven Indians who were employed at the plant were convicted in 2010 for causing death by negligence.
“A breath-taking story, compellingly told, this story needs to be adapted for screen with the importance and scale as that of Chernobyl,” Screwvala said. The critically acclaimed HBO miniseries Chernobyl was a fictionalised account of the 1986 industrial disaster in the erstwhile Soviet Union.
Earlier productions centered on or inspired by the Bhopal gas tragedy include Mahesh Mathai’s Bhopal Express (1999), Ravi Kumar’s Bhopal: A Prayer for Rain (2014), and Irada (2017).