Ewan McGregor (upcoming Obi-Wan Kenobi) will lead the cast in Everest, a thriller which will start production on January 22 in the U.K. and Italy.
Loosely based on the novel Paths of Glory by Jeffrey Archer, Everest is a movie about the real-life George Mallory (McGregor) and his third attempt to summit Mount Everest supported by the Royal Geographic Society’s Arthur Hinks, played by Mark Strong (Cruella). Mallory’s final ascent to Everest has been clouded in mystery. He died in mysterious circumstances during his third attempt, 30 years before the assumed first Westerner, Edmund Hillary, and it is unclear if he ever made it to the top.
The movie is set in 1921, when a successful climb was viewed as a priority of national importance. Eccentric Aussie George Finch (Sam Heughan) is the rival to Mallory who also never made it to the Everest summit and retreated after setting a new climbing record.
It remains to be seen if the movie will follow the book, which is a fictional account of George Mallory, or if the plot of the movie will also explore Mallory’s last summit and the attempt to recover his body in 1999. With the current cast and Oscar-nominated scriptwriter Sheldon Turner (Up In The Air), the director and producer Doug Liman and Jennifer Klein have their own summit all mapped out.
This project has been in the works for some time. It was previously under Sony, but it is now distributed by HanWay Films for international sales and UTA Independent Film Group for the U.S. opening.