Everest, the new feature film by Icelandic director Baltasar Kormákur, will open the 72nd Venice International Film Festival out of competition. The film was funded by the BLS Film Fund & Commission and was also shot in South Tyrol, atop the Senales Glacier; other locations included on the slopes of Mount Everest in Nepal, at Rome’s Cinecittà Studios and at the Pinewood Studios in the UK.
Everest is the result of a major British-American international production involving Working Title Films, Walden Media and Cross Creek Pictures.
The crew working in South Tyrol comprised about 180 people from all over the world: among them were Americans, Brits, Australians, Germans, Italians and Icelandic people. Around 60 South Tyroleans were also members of this international team, working in all of the technical departments.
Paramount Pictures will distribute the film in Italy, with a release date of 24 September 2015.
The screenplay was inspired by a true story. In 1996, mountain guide Rob Hall decides to lead his team to the summit of Everest, the world’s highest mountain. The many groups of tourists that the team encounters along the route, however, slows down their climb. Rob convinces some of his team to return to base camp, but two of them, Doug and Beck, who have already tried to climb the mountain once before, do not intend to give up. Tragedy strikes when a violent storm suddenly hits the teams, just as the summit is near.
Led by director Baltasar Kormákur (Contraband, Inhale, 2 Guns), the film stars Jake Gyllenhaal (Brokeback Mountain, Prince of Persia) in the role of Scott Fischer and Jason Clarke (The Great Gatsby) as Rob Hall. John Hawkes (Lincoln) plays a climber from Seattle who arrives late at the meeting point of the expedition, thus delaying it from starting; meanwhile Josh Brolin (Men in Black 3) plays climber Beck Weathers, who survived the expedition having suffered severe frostbite and recounted his experience in the book, Left for Dead: My Journey Home from Everest. Mark Medoff (Children of a Lesser God) and Oscar winner Simon Beaufoy (Slumdog Millionaire) wrote the film’s screenplay, which was also based on stories Weathers told them. Salvatore Totino (The Da Vinci Code) was the camera operator.