Everest, the new drama starring Jake Gyllenhaal (Southpaw), Jason Clarke (Terminator Genisys), and Josh Brolin (Inherent Vice), and directed by Icelandic filmmaker Baltasar Kormákur (Contraband, 2 Guns), was inspired by the true story of the Mount Everest Disaster of 1996 (later turned into literature by journalist and travel writer Jon Krakauer). Distributer Universal Pictures has already released one gripping official trailer and poster for the nature survival thriller, amping up anticipation for Baltasar’s latest feature.
Jon Krakauer’s memoir of his experiences during the 1996 Everest indecent, “Into Thin Air”, contains a lot of dramatic nuance and tension built. That same visceral thrill may’ve been translate well to the big screen, from what we’ve seen of Everest so far.
In a new featurette released online, the Everest cast and Kormákur stress the extraneous conditions in place while shooting took place in the mountain ranges of Nepal. Gyllenhaal, Clarke, and Brolin all express their excitement of shooting in a reality based setting, replete with snow and the elements of an actual ascent of a naturally occurring precipice as unforgiving as the real Everest. The intention behind this approach, of course, is to encourage the cast to deliver performances that feel all the more naturalistic (being heavily influenced by the harsh conditions at hand).
Kormákur’s Everest film appears to be well-shot and executed with an impeccable eye for detail, as the footage released so far looks crisp and thrillingly composed and edited. It remains to be seen how the film’s story holds up by comparison, though it’s encouraging to see that the film’s script was penned by Oscar-winner Simon Beaufoy (Slumdog Millionaire, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire) and Oscar-nominee William Nicholson (Gladiator, Unbroken).
As anyone who has read or heard the story of the Mount Everest Disaster of 1996 can attest to, the events that took place towards the very end of the 20th century are ripe for cinematic interpretation, and Kormákur’s film has the potential to use its inspiration to create some vivid, compelling, onscreen drama. The cast is also rounded out by a capable team of actors (including, John Hawkes, Keira Knightley, Emily Watson, and Robin Wright in key supporting roles), which also indicates that Everest could amount to something memorable.
Indeed, between this film and director Robert Zemeckis’ upcoming The Walk (starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt as the high-wire artist who sought to walk between the Twin Towers in the 1970s), it will be interesting to see which upcoming film uses 3D to better terrify those moviegoers who are less than comfortable with heights (even those on the big screen).
Everest opens in U.S. theaters on September 25th, 2015.
Source: Universal Pictures