Remember when, in the months after the 9/11 attacks, filmmakers and studios feared that it would upset audiences if they so much as saw the World Trade Center towers on screen? An upcoming movie will not only show them, but make them – and a walk between the Twin Towers – its major topic. In huge, large-format IMAX, to boot.
Already the topic of the Oscar-winning 2008 documentary Man on Wire, the 1974 tightrope walk across the World Trade Center towers by Frenchman Philippe Petit is getting the feature film treatment from director Robert Zemeckis, with the chance to see the feat on IMAX a key selling point. The release of the film, called The Walk, is getting close, and now Sony has debuted an official, more than four-minute long “Official IMAX trailer” to promote the movie.
Like James Marsh’s documentary – which was also officially based on Petit’s memoir “To Reach the Clouds: My High Wire Walk between the Twin Towers” – The Walk depicts the preparations of the walk by Petit (played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and his team, along with the walk itself; though, Man on Wire, to some controversy at the time, leaned on re-enactments. The Walk also stars Oscar-winner Ben Kingsley, along with Charlotte Le Bon (The Hundred-Foot Journey), James Badge Dale (Iron Man 3), and Ben Schwartz (Parks and Recreation, House of Lies).
The Walk debuted a first trailer way back in December 2014 and an international trailer earlier this year; the IMAX trailer is easily the expansive preview, though. Based on what’s been shown thus far, The Walk looks intriguing, with the expanse of the towers and New York City a fine fit for IMAX/3D, and the story being strong enough to have already sustained an award-winning documentary. The cast is strong too, with Gordon-Levitt quite able to carry a movie. Zemeckis, meanwhile, has had a resurgence of late – following a decade 0f making divisive motion-capture pictures, his return to live action with Flight, three years ago, was imperfect but still ultimately successful.
That being said – Gordon-Levitt’s French accent is somewhat iffy, and the documentary was so good that it’s sort of questionable why telling the same story, from the same source material, is necessary (even with IMAX/3D thrown into the mix). Like with the upcoming Steve Jobs, it’s who is telling the story this time (and how they’re doing it) that’s as much a selling point here as the actual tale itself.
The Walk will debut at the New York Film Festival on September 26th, 2015; it opens in IMAX theaters a few days later on September 30th, before it starts playing in theaters across the U.S. on October 9th.
Source: Sony Pictures