High-wire artist Philippe Petit’s extremely daring (and illegal) 1974 performance on a cable stretching between the twin towers of the World Trade Center has already been the subject of an Oscar-winning film, Man on Wire, which documented the set-up and execution of the act using a mixture of archive footage, interview footage and re-enactments. Since there weren’t any 3D cameras around in 1974, however, director Robert Zemeckis has created a feature dramatization of Petit’s walk in a film that is, appropriately, called The Walk.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt underwent another on-screen transformation to play Petit, though this time around he didn’t need any facial prosthetics – just a bit of trickery to turn him into a blue-eyed redhead. In the first teaser trailer for The Walk, Gordon-Levitt is seen standing at the top of one tower, looking across the divide and forming the beginnings of a plan to walk between them that would take Petit six years to execute. It’s pretty much a given that people with vertigo will have to sit out this movie.
TriStar Pictures has also released a poster for The Walk; and if it looks like the poster for a heist movie then that’s probably because that’s exactly what The Walk will be. Just as Man on Wire emphasized the fact that Petit and his collaborators came together to work on a project with the full knowledge that what they were doing was illegal, The Walk would probably work best if framed as a crime caper – though visual spectacle is going to be a big factor as well, obviously.
The Walk also stars Charlotte Le Bon, James Badge Dale, Ben Kingsley, Ben Schwartz and Steve Valentine, and was scripted by Zemeckis and newcomer Christopher Browne. The release is still a long way away, but this is definitely an exciting first teaser. Just don’t look down.
The Walk will release in 3D and 3D IMAX theaters on October 2nd, 2015.