Universal Pictures has had a good year so far with blockbusters like Jurassic World and Furious 7, but the studio is hoping to climb new heights with its upcoming thriller Everest — or at the very least, make audiences feel like they’re climbing new heights.
The story of the tragic 1996 Mount Everest disaster that left eight people dead on the slopes of the famous mountain, Everest was shot on location on the foothills of Everest in Nepal, and will be screened in Imax and other large-format theaters in September before receiving a wide theatrical release. The film chronicles the experiences of two expedition groups whose journeys to the summit of Mount Everest met with disaster when a massive snowstorm engulfed the mountain.
The film stars Jason Clarke and Jake Gyllenhaal as rival leaders of expeditions groups leading clients up the mountain, with Josh Brolin, John Hawkes, Robin Wright, Michael Kelly, Sam Worthington, Keira Knightley, and Emily Watson playing supporting roles in the film. The film is directed by Baltasar Kormákur (2 Guns) from a screenplay penned by William Nicholson (Gladiator) and Simon Beaufoy (Slumdog Millionaire).
The events of that disaster have been the subject of several novels, most notably journalist Jon Krakauer’s bestselling 1997 novel Into Thin Air. Krakauer was a member of one of the ill-fated expeditions while on assignment from Outside magazine. House of Cards actor Michael Kelly portrays Krakauer in Everest.
Published accounts of the disaster penned by those who survived it also include Everest guide Anatoli Boukreev’s The Climb: Tragic Ambitions on Everest, as well as mountaineer Beck Weathers’ Left For Dead: My Journey Home from Everest, Lene Gammelgaard’s Climbing High, and Lou Kasischke’s After the Wind: 1996 Everest Tragedy, One Survivor’s Story.
In July, it was announced that Everest will open the 72nd Venice Film Festival with a premiere screening on Sept. 2 at Venice’s Palazzo del Cinema.
Everest is currently scheduled to arrive in 3D and Imax theaters September 18, with a wide release in standard theaters Sept. 25.