EXCLUSIVE: While the second unit crew shooting Everest were in the vicinity when a tragic avalanche struck Mount Everest and so far has killed 13, there were no injuries or fatalities on the film, I can report. Principal photography on the Baltasar Kormakur-directed film is nearly over and they are finishing in Pinewood in England, but the second unit was setting up to go and shoot at Base 2 on Mount Everest near Nepal. Fortunately for the crew, they were acclimating at the foot of the summit and weren’t up where the disaster took place, when a wall of ice 1,000 feet up fell off at the left shoulder of the mountain and crashed down on Base 2. Most of the fatalities were experienced sherpas that guide climbers to the summit. Several of the sherpas involved with the Everest production rushed to help. The production will now have to wait to assess whether a trek back up the mountain to finish shooting is feasible.
The guides were carrying equipment and supplies to camps for climbers getting ready for peak trekking season — including those preparing to participate in Discovery Channel‘s Everest Jump Live, produced by NBC News Peacock Prods. Seven NBC News staffers on site are accounted for and unharmed, and Discovery said it has not had conversations as to how the disaster might impact the event’s scheduled May 11 air date. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Sheldon Turner has been hired by New Regency and Ubisoft to write a new draft of Splinter Cell, turning this video game adaptation into a reunion of another movie that hasn’t happened yet. I’ll explain. Turner wrote the Sony Pictures film Everest, about the attempt by George Mallory to be first to reach the summit of Mount Everest. Doug Liman is set to direct that film and Tom Hardy is starring in it. But the picture got postponed after another film called Everest took the hill first, this one about a 1996 climb that turned deadly when a blizzard hit just as the climbers were about to reach the top. Universal Pictures, Working Title and Cross Creek are in production right now, with Sam Worthington and Robin Wright recently joining Jason Clarke, Josh Brolin, John Hawkes, Jake Gyllenhaal, Martin Henderson, Emily Watson and Thomas Wright in the Baltasar Kormakur-directed film.
Even though they didn’t get to the start line on the project, Hardy, Liman and Turner must have had a good collaboration as they prepared. Hardy, who has long been attached as Splinter Cell star, first brought in Liman and now they’ve enlisted Turner. They will get this new version ready to shoot in August. American Hustle‘s Eric Warren Singer wrote the most recent draft. Turner is then scheduled to direct Borderland at Relativity. The hope … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures has set Sam Worthington and House Of Cards’ Robin Wright to the ensemble cast of Everest. They join Jason Clarke, Josh Brolin, John Hawkes, Jake Gyllenhaal, Martin Henderson, Emily Watson and Thomas Wright in the Baltasar Kormakur-directed true saga of a disastrous attempt to scale the summit of the world’s highest mountain when they were hit by a fierce snowstorm near the top. Worthington will play Guy Cotter and Wright will play Beck Weather’s wife, Peach. Pic is shooting right now in Nepal on the base of Everest, as well as the Italian Dolomites and Cinecitta Studios in Rome and Pinewood Studios in the UK.
Universal will release the film September 18, 2015 and it’s a co-production between Universal, Working Title and Cross Creek Pictures, in association with Walden Media. Working Title’s Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner are producing with Cross Creek’s Brian Oliver and Tyler Thompson, along with Kormakur and Nicky Kentish Barnes. Randall Emmett and George Furla are executive producing. The film was scripted by Children Of A Lesser God‘s Mark Medoff and Slumdog Millionaire‘s Simon Beaufoy. Universal’s Erik Baiers and Chloe Yellin are overseeing.
Worthington is repped by CAA, Anonymous Content’s Sandra Chang and Shanahan Management in Australia. Wright is repped by CAA, Michael Sugar of Anonymous Content and attorney Melanie Cook.
Universal Pictures is pushing the Baltasar Kormakur-directed 3D adventure Everest to September 18, 2015, seven months later than its original date of February 27. It now avoids going up against Warner Bros romcom Focus starring Will Smith and Margot Robbie and Ryan Reynolds’ sci-fi thriller Selfless, moving into a weekend where nothing is currently scheduled. Everest, Working Title’s mountain-climbing disaster pic backed by Cross Creek and Walden Media, stars Jason Clarke, Josh Brolin, John Hawkes and Jake Gyllenhaal. The pic is based on the disastrous 1996 attempt to scale the world’s tallest mountain. Three different expeditions were hit by a sudden blinding storm, resulting in the deaths of eight climbers.
EXCLUSIVE: Micah Hauptman (Parker, Bread & Butter, Silver Skies) has been cast in Working Title/Universal’s action adventure drama Everest, about the 1996 multi-expedition ascent on Mount Everest that left eight climbers dead. Josh Brolin, John Hawkes, Jason Clarke, and Jake Gyllenhaal are already aboard the pic directed by Baltasar Kormákur. Hauptman will play filmmaker and mountaineer David Breashears, director of the IMAX docu Everest. He’s repped by Chaotik Media and Fuller Downs.
Charles S. Dutton has joined the cast of the Gregg Allman biopic Midnight Rider. He will play Chank Middleton, a longtime friend of Allman (William Hurt). Based on Allman’s Autobiography My Cross To Bear, the pic will be directed by Randall Miller. Dutton’s recent credits include Longmire, Zero Hour and American Horror Story. He is repped by Greene & Associates and Lighthouse Entertainment.
Universal Pictures announced release dates for a slew of movies today. Among them: The Baltasar Kormakur-directed 3D adventure Everest is set for February 27, 2015, and Legendary Pictures’ haunted house pic Crimson Peak, from helmer Guillermo del Toro, is due October 16, 2015. Everest, Working Title’s mountain-climbing disaster pic backed by Cross Creek and Walden Media, is set to go up against Focus Features’ Ryan Reynolds sci-fi thriller Selfless. Crimson Peak, which saw Benedict Cumberbatch exit the lead role and be replaced by Thor baddie Tom Hiddleston, has the 2015 pre-Halloween weekend to itself for now. As for this year’s trick-or-treat fare, the horror pic Ouija — inspired by the Hasbro board game — will come knocking October 24, battling for screams against Paramount’s Paranormal Activity 5. Also due in 2014 are Legendary’s As Above, So Below (August 15), from director John Erick Dowdle, and the Liam Neeson thriller A Walk Among The Tombstones (September 19). The sequel Pitch Perfect 2, which added Elizabeth Banks as director this week, opens May 15, 2015. The studio also set a new working title for the formerly-a-mouthful Untitled Illumination Entertainment 2016 Project 1. Now a more descriptive and manageable Untitled Pets Project, its date remains February 12, 2016. Louis C.K., Eric Stonestreet and Kevin Hart are making their animated-feature debuts in the 3D pic about what your pets do when you leave the house.
EXCLUSIVE: Cross Creek and Walden Media are backing the $65 million Working Title feature for Universal, which Baltasar Kormakur is directing. Everest stars Jake Gyllenhaal as Scott Fischer, Josh Brolin as Beck Weathers, Jason Clarke as Rob Hall, and John Hawkes as Doug Hansen. Shooting starts January 13 in the Dolomites in Italy and will continue in Nepal and Iceland.
This is one of two studio-backed films titled Everest — the other being the Doug Liman-helmed pic for Sony. And on Monday, Fox landed a 10-part event series from Alcon Entertainment about a group of hikers trying to hike Mount Everest. Working Title’s feature, produced by the company’s partners Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner, was weathering a storm just a few weeks ago, after Emmett/Furla Films had exited as co-financier and the producers were trying to secure new funding. The pic is based on the disastrous 1996 attempt to scale the world’s tallest mountain. Three different expeditions were hit by a sudden blinding storm, resulting in the deaths of eight climbers. The film will be sourced from various books and interviews with survivors. Cross Creek’s Brian Oliver and Tyler Thompson will join Bevan and Fellner as producers.
Now it’s a race to the top … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: In a competitive situation, Fox has landed Everest, a 10-part event series from Alcon Entertainment. There is a multiple script order for the project, which is in the process of setting up a writers room. Created by Jeffrey Lieber (Necessary Roughness) and produced by Alcon and FX Prods, Everest — which is being pitched as renewable limited series that can have follow-up cycles — is described as a suspenseful, action-packed drama that revolves around a group of hikers on an expedition to conquer Mount Everest. Secrets are revealed and the truth about their motives are uncovered as the group struggles to survive on the world’s highest peak. Everest marks one of the first major TV sales for the TV division of Warner Bros-based Alcon Entertainment, which was launched last year when former Sony Pictures TV head of drama Sharon Hall was tapped to run it. The company has spent the last year actively acquiring properties and developing and packaging projects with a focus on going straight to series. The pitch for Everest too was the result of a four- to five-month development process. Lieber was brought to Alcon by Hall, who worked with the Necessary Roughness exec producer/showrunner while she was at Sony.
Related: Sony Eyes March For Doug Liman’s ‘Everest’ Movie
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EXCLUSIVE: What’s going on with the two studio-backed movies titled Everest, about two spectacularly different incidents that took place on the same hill? Well let me tell you. Both films have weathered missteps, but the filmmakers behind each say they intend to scale the mountain soon. Everest, the Doug Liman-directed film at Sony, is now bent on starting production in March, and that meant losing Tom Hardy, who was going to play George Mallory, the famous British mountaineer who rallied a nation with his attempts to conquer Everest. Scheduling didn’t work with Hardy.
The front-runner to replace Hardy right now is Benedict Cumberbatch, but other actors in the mix to play Mallory and Australian rival George Finch include Joel Kinnaman, James McAvoy, Tom Hiddleston, Henry Cavill, Luke Evans, Dan Stevens, Matthew Goode, and Jim Sturgess. I’ve seen press speculation that Cumberbatch may have lost his luster because the Julian Assange pic The Fifth Estate failed at the box office, but that seems harsh. None of the current batch of emerging stars means much of anything at the box office, so the question becomes, is Cumberbatch an actor who elevates a film with his presence? The answer is a resounding yes, and he has Mallory’s regal bearing. The film is being produced by Jennifer Klein along with Liman and his Hypnotic partner Dave Bartis. Sheldon Turner … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Corsan NV has made a deal with financier/producer Emmett/Furla/Oasis Films that will see Corsan invest $125 million in EFO slate films that include the Martin Scorsese-directed Silence, the Bruce Willis-starrer Expiration, the Vin Diesel-starrer The Last Witch Hunter, Scorsese’s The Irishman and the Baltasar Kormakur-directed Everest.
The funding alliance was made by Randall Emmett and George Furla with Corsan NV CEO Paul Breuls. The first film is Everest, which starts production in November and which is being produced by Working Title and released domestically by Universal. The film will star Jason Clarke, Josh Brolin and Jake Gyllenhaal.
Corsan president of International Sales Pascal Borno and Alain Gillissen have begun selling international territories here at Toronto on Expiration, which begins production January with Willis starring. Next to go into production will be Last Witch Hunter, with Breck Eisner directing Diesel and Lionsgate releasing. Production will begin in March. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Josh Brolin, John Hawkes, Jake Gyllenhaal, Jason Clarke are in discussions to star in Everest, a mountain climbing disaster film that The Deep helmer Baltasar Kormakur will direct. He’s the one that’s putting the cast together and is aiming for a November shooting start. Universal Pictures and Emmett/Furla Films are in discussions to co-finance the project. Kormakur already has worked with Universal and Emmett/Furla’ Randall Emmett and George Furla: He directed 2 Guns starring Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg that Uni releases August 2. Working Title partners Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner will produce Everest, 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.
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 »