A few months back, Christian Bale was attached to star as a mountain climber in Everest, Icelandic director Baltasar Kormakur’s follow-up to the Denzel Washington/Mark Whalberg crime caper 2 Guns, but apparently Bale has moved onto greener, more sea-level pastures, while Kormakur has rounded up a stunning group of A-listers. Deadline reports the Working Title production is in talks with Josh Brolin, John Hawkes, Jake Gyllenhaal and Jason Clarke to star in the non-bombastic disaster film. Is anyone else just the least bit tickled by how much alliteration this cast has going on?
Kormakur is assembling the cast himself, proving his dedication to the project, and Universal Pictures and Emmett/Furla Films are currently in discussions to co-finance the film. One has to wonder how big of a budget a film like this will call for.
Everest, unlike the Doug Liman project, will thankfully not just be an origin story about the first people to climb the world’s tallest peaks of Mount Everest, as inspiring a story as that may be. Kormakur’s film will instead focus on the deadliest year in the mountain’s history, when a huge snow storm hit the mountain, leaving eight climbers dead. (15 people actually died over the season, but the film centers on only one expedition.) The disaster was the focus of the popular nonfiction book Into Thin Air, written by Jon Krakauer, who had first-hand knowledge of the tragedy, as he was on site writing about it for a magazine. Krakauer and his work were criticized post-publication, and it’s perhaps because of this that the film will be based on several written sources beyond Into Thin Air, as well as interviews with some of the survivors.
Unfortunately, there’s no word on what roles these actors would be taking, but I guess there would be some spoilers involved if they did. I also wonder if Krakauer will be a character within the film, given his involvement with the climb.
This is a cast that is in no danger of going unseen in the next year or two. Brolin will exact harsh vengeance in Spike Lee’s Oldboy remake in October. Gyllenhaal will play a cop searching for missing girls in the crime thriller Prisoners. Hawkes teams up with Will Forte for one big score in Daniel Schechter’s untitled Elmore Leonard adaptation. Clarke will star as Tom Lincoln in A.J. Edwards “young Abraham Lincoln” drama The Green Blade Rises. To be sure, these are just the projects these actors have coming up next.
They’re all currently filming other projects, and Kormakur is aiming to begin production in November, which makes me think some heavy planning will need to be done to secure all these actors within that timeframe. Assuming they aren’t filming the whole thing on location at the mountain itself, it could definitely happen.