Baltasar Kormakur eyes Jake Gyllenhaal and Josh Brolin for Everest movie
Story by Jack Foley
ICELANDIC director Baltasar Kormakur is preparing to start work on his Everest movie and has his eyes firmly set on casting Jake Gyllenhaal and Josh Brolin as two of his leads.
The filmmaker, who is currently on top of the US box office with Mark Wahlberg-Denzel Washington star vehicle 2 Guns, is also in advanced talks with John Hawkes and Jason Clarke.
Speaking at the Locarno Festival in Switzerland, the director outlined his vision for the project and his hopes for the future of mainstream filmmaking in general.
The film will chronicle the true story of two commercial expeditions that launched a summit attempt from the South Coll on May 10, 1996, only to be caught in a blizzard on their way down that ended in tragedy.
He revealed he has been scouting for locations in the Dolomites together with legendary American mountaineer/filmmaker Dave Breashears, who has climbed Everest five times, and who co-directed, lensed and produced IMAX movie Everest.
Breashears has also worked on Cliffhanger and Seven Years in Tibet and will serve as an advisor on Kormakur’s movie.
In addition to shooting on Everest itself (he hopes to reach the Khumbu Icefall), Kormakur is also going to be using the Dolomites as well as a studio in the UK or Iceland.
He elaborated: “We will work on ways to digitally enhance Everest, matching it with Dolomites and Everest, but I’ll do everything physically first. If there’s no other way, then I’ll go to CGI.”
As for the themes of the movie itself, the director said: “Everest will be about ambition… the beginning of the commercialization of Everest.”
But it will also afford film-goers the chance to gain “an understanding of why people do this, try to climb Everest”.
“I’m particularly drawn to it because I feel it resonates with what I’m doing. I live on the edge of the world, and am pushing myself personally and professionally to hopefully reach some kind of a summit,” he added.
Kormakur was most recently in UK cinemas with his Icelandic film The Deep, another true story, and will shortly be back when 2 Guns is released on August 16.
He has also recently directed a pilot in the US for HBO called The Missionary, which is produced by 2 Guns collaborator Mark Wahlberg.
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