For many hikers, Everest is an unattainable peak. The mountain has been known to cause problems for even the most hardy and experienced of hikers, and the path to the peak is littered with the bodies of those who succumbed to health issues like hypothermia, who fell to their deaths after stepping in just the wrong place, or who were trapped due to inclement weather. Everest offers an isolating but beautiful landscape that Fox believes could make for a compelling drama once the network throws a few hikers into the mix. Fox has bought a 10-part fictional event project that would follow a group of hikers trying to make it up the ferocious mountain.
Fittingly called Everest, the project centers around a group of adventurers hoping to make it to the top of the mountain. However, things aren’t quite what they seem. According to Deadline, during the journey, a slew of secrets and ulterior motives will come to light. Necessary Roughness’ Jeffrey Lieber created the Everest idea and will be putting together the drama series along with Alcon Entertainment. Lieber, Sharon Hall, Broderick Johnson, Andrew Kosove, Robyn Meisinger, Adam Kolbrenner are all executive producing the project.
A limited event series should actually be the perfect format for the Everest project, as Lieber spent 4-5 months developing the project as a feature film, eventually realizing it would work out better if people could spend more time with the characters. Lieber’s team-up with Alcon Entertainment helped Everest to move forward rather quickly, as Alcon specializes in straight-to-series programming. Fox hasn’t officially given a greenlight for a pick-up yet, but with the format and the high hopes for the series, 3-4 scripts are expected to be produced as soon as possible.
Toughing it out when climbing mountains has been explored in both fictional films and documentaries in the past. If Everest had moved forward as a feature film, it would have been competing with the likes of Vertical Limit, Alive, and the Mt. Everest-based documentary, Into Thin Air: Death on Everest. There’s also another Everest project currently in the works, with Jake Gyllenhaal, Josh Brolin, John Hawkes and more attached. I wouldn’t want to compete with that lineup, and as a TV series, Lieber’s Everest should stand out quite a bit among the other scripted programming that is currently available to viewers on TV.
Still, even if it’s a different sort of show, the writers will have to highly fictionalize things to keep the story interesting. I don’t know much about climbing mountains, but I do know the air can get thin and the hikers’ energy levels are at an all time low. Without plenty of creativity, we’d be watching a lot of trudging and characters that barely have time to talk with one another. Obviouslym Fox really wanted this one and landed a deal for Everest during a time when other networks were also showing interest. There’s a good chance we’ll be seeing the event series on the air at some point, and we’ll keep you posted whether or not the drama project moves forward.
Photo Credit @ R.M. Nunes / Shutterstock