EXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures and Working Title are teaming with Emmett/Furla Films on Everest, a mountain climbing disaster film that The Deep helmer Baltasar Kormakur will direct, with Christian Bale in talks to star. Working Title partners Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner will produce with WT’s Liza Chasin, along with Evan Hayes. Emmett/Furla’s Randall Emmett and George Furla are in discussions to co-finance the film and join in a producing capacity as well. Justin Isbell wrote the most recent script draft.
Bale is in early talks to star in a tale based on the 1996 disastrous expedition to scale Mount Everest. Three different expeditions were hit by a sudden blinding storm and by the time it was all over, eight climbers died. The tale was first made famous by Jon Krakauer’s Into Thin Air, his first-person account of being among the lucky ones to make it back down the mountain. This film will be sourced from various books and interviews with survivors.
There is another studio film entitled Everest, the one at Sony Pictures that has Doug Liman attached to direct a Sheldon Turner adaptation of the Jeffrey Archer book. That film is same mountain, different tale, as Tom Hardy is attached to play Sir George Mallory in his quest to be the first to the top of Everest in the 1920s.
Kormakur seems a strong match for what will be a rugged shoot. He’s coming off The Deep, an Icelandic fact-based drama that was shortlisted for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar and which told the story of one man’s unbelievable ordeal of being the lone survivor after a fishing vessel went down in icy waters. Everyone else perished from hypothermia and drowning, but one man swam for hours until he reached the shore, in temperatures no human should have been able to survive. Shooting the film was a cold and harrowing experience as well.
Related: Baltasar Kormakur On The Harrowing Experience Of Making ‘The Deep’ READ MORE »
EXCLUSIVE: Doug Liman has climbed aboard Everest, a Sony Pictures drama about George Mallory and his three attempts in the early 1920s to become the first man to climb the world’s highest mountain. The film, an adaptation of Jeffrey Archer’s book Paths Of Glory, has a script by Sheldon Turner. Jennifer Klein is producing. Liman has several projects percolating, including Luna, a moon mission film that Paramount Pictures and New Regency are trying to make work, as well as Warner Bros’ Dante Harper-scripted drama All You Need Is Kill. Liman, who directed the action hits The Bourne Identity and Mr. and Mrs. Smith, is himself an avid climber and a fan of the Mallory story. He is in the midst of a deal to supervise the next draft by Turner with the intention to direct a film that is a priority at Sony Pictures. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Frequent collaborators Sheldon Turner and Jennifer Klein are launching a company together. The company, Vendetta, will be based at ABC Studios with a first-look deal. Under the two-year pact, Up In the Air co-writer Turner will write one script himself and he and Klein will shepherd projects with other writers. Turner and Klein will executive produce all projects developed under the deal, which sprung from the relationship they developed with ABC and ABC Studios this past development season when the two executive produced a Vice President drama project titled Number Two, which Turner co-wrote with Shaun Cassidy. Turner and Klein are expected to bring a feature mentality to their development and shepherd big-event shows with feature writers.
In addition to Number Two, Turner and Klein have sold together as producers Broken to FX, which Turner wrote; drama Michael Chance to NBC, written by Julie Golden; and half-hour comedy The True Adventures of a Terrible Dater, written by Susan Brightbill. On the feature side, the two are producing the Turner-written By Virtue Fall, which will mark Turner’s directorial debut. The project is currently casting, with Eric Bana, James Spader, Carla Gugino, Ryan Phillippe and Connie Britton already on board. Turner also wrote Sony’s Everest, which is now out to directors. Read More »