Director Baltasar Kormakur Talks EVEREST Movie Based on 1996 Accident; Hopes to Be Filming This Summer After HBO’s THE MISSIONARY

     December 6, 2012


While director Baltasar Kormákur (The Deep, Contraband) is busy in post production on next summer’s 2 Guns starring Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg, that doesn’t mean he’s not planning future projects.  As we’ve previously reported, Kormakur is going to direct the HBO pilot for The Missionary, which would take place during the 1960s and center on an American missionary (Benjamin Walker) who gets caught up in Cold War intrigue while helping a young woman escape East Berlin.   He told me the plan is to film this April in Hungary and a few days in East Berlin, and after the project wraps, he hopes to make Everest (which is a working title).

According to Kormakur, the film recounts the story of an accident on Mount Everest in 1996.  When I asked him the size and scope of the project, he said, “It’s a very, very big movie with a medium budget.”  To make it look as real as possible, he plans on filming on Mount Everest, traveling as far up the mountain as he can with actors.  They will also film on a glacier for three months.  For more on the project hit the jump.

Before getting to today’s interview, if you missed Kormakur talking about his film The Deep (Iceland’s official Academy Award selection for Best Foreign Language Film), click here.  Here’s what he had to say about 2 Guns and here’s The Missionary.

Baltasar KormakurBaltasar Kormakur Time Index:

  • Says his next project after The Mission will likely be Everest (working title).  It recounts the story of an accident on Mount Everest in 1996.
  • 0:45 – The Deep was deliberately filmed, but Kormakur restrained his filmmaking so it would not get in the way of the story.  Everest will be similar, but he may have to “open it up” to deal with the spectacle of Mount Everest.
  • 3:20 – He is considering all types of actors for Everest, but suggest the big parts will go to movie stars.
  • 3:50 – Says, “It’s a very, very big movie with a medium budget.”  He will film on Mount Everest, travelling as far up the mountain as he can with actors.  They will also film on a glacier for three months.
  • 4:45 – They are still figuring out the plan, but Kormakur hopes to film summer into autumn because the conditions are more accommodating.
  • 5:10 – Stephen Daldry was attached to write this story a while back.  Kormakur brought on young writer Justin Isabel.
  • 6:10 – Kormakur gives the synopsis.  It is a well-known storm that hit Everest climbers in 1996.


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