New broke earlier today that Christian Bale has opted out of the cape and utility belt for a down coat and crampons. Bale is to star in director Balstasar Kormakur latest survival drama/thriller about the infamous expedition in 1996 than would spawn John Krakauer’s Into Thin Air. But earlier reports say that it will not be an adaptation of his novel but a mix between Krakauer’s telling of the events with other survivors. The cliff notes version of the drama that unfolded in 1996 is (1) conflicting takes on what exactly happen from the survivors after unpredictable conditions rolled in and (2) that the expedition’s guide, Rob Hall, felt obligated to get one particular un-fit member to the summit after two previous expeditions that failed.
Now around 1996 commercialization of Everest was at its peak. What that means is anyone with enough money in the bank to write a $10,000 check (give or take – remember 1996) can join an expedition to attempt to reach Everest’s summit. No matter your fitness level that check is what matters. Needless to say a majority of those expeditions do not reach the top but it’s the thrill and experience of trying.
As of right now Bale’s role is not yet known but if I had to guess, my money would be on him playing Rob Hall. Hall was a well respected mountaineer that made summit on Everest on several occasions. Currently Kormakur’s project is simply titled “Everest” but this is not to be confused with Doug Liman’s project of the same name.
Nearly four month ago word got out director Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity and Mr. & Mrs. Smith) would be doing a movie about Sir George Mallory who is to be played by Tom Hardy. Mallory has a lot of speculation surrounding him and Everest as well (warning S P O I L E R S to follow). Mallory was allegedly the first mountaineer to reach Everest’s summit back in the 1920’s. I say allegedly because it was his third attempt and well he never came back done until climbers found his body in 1999. So there is disputable proof of whether he made it or not which should be interesting to see what Liman will suggest.
Two separate Everest movies that will most likely be release close to each other staring Bale and Hardy. Reminds me of when another Bale film about magicians The Prestige came out at the same time as another magical film called the Illusionist. Funny how that happens in Hollywood sometimes. This might explain both actors growing those serious beards of theirs.
My question to those reading is which are you more excited to see? The Kormakur/Bale EVEREST about the disastrous 1996 expedition or the Liman/Hardy EVEREST about Sir George Mallory. Or maybe both? I am a big fan of both actors but not all too familiar with the directors.