A Tale of Two EVERESTS: Doug Liman’s Pic Looks to Cast Benedict Cumberbatch as George Mallory, While Baltasar Kormakur’s Survivor Pic Starts in November

     October 21, 2013


There are currently two Everest pictures in Hollywood that are looking to get off the ground:

  • Director Doug Liman’s Everest, a period picture that centers on British mountaineer George Mallory and his ill-fated third attempt to conquer the mountain in 1924 at the age of 37.  Tom Hardy was previously attached to play Mallory, but plans to start production in March didn’t mesh with Hardy’s schedule.  Sony is eyeing Benedict Cumberbatch (Star Trek Into Darkness) and a number of other actors.
  • Director Baltasar Kormakur’s Everest, set up at Universal, tells the disastrous tale of a 1996 expedition to climb the title mountain that ended in the death of eight climbers after a storm hit.  Josh Brolin, John Hawkes, Jake Gyllenhaal and Jason Clarke are attached.

Hit the jump for more.

benedict-cumberbatchDeadline attempts to sort out the two Everest films.  Liman’s aims to make a heroic picture to celebrate British celebrity, Mallory.  Cumberbatch is the frontrunner to replace Hardy, but Joel Kinnaman, James McAvoy, Tom Hiddleston, Henry Cavill, Luke Evans, Dan Stevens, Matthew Goode, and Jim Sturgess are also in the mix.  Those who miss out on playing Mallory will also have a chance at playing his Australian rival, George Finch.  Everest’s script was turned in by Sheldon Turner (X-Men: First Class).

Kormakur’s Everest, meanwhile, tells the tale “first made famous by Jon Krakauer’s Into Thin Air, his superb first-person account of being among the lucky ones to make it back down the mountain. This film will be sourced from various books and interviews with survivors.”  With a planned November start, Kormakur’s Everest will likely reach the summit before Liman’s, which should be shoring up its cast in the coming months. [Update: Via Deadline, Cross Creek and Walden Media will back the picture.  Casting details include "Jake Gyllenhaal as Scott Fischer, Josh Brolin as Beck Weathers, Jason Clarke as Rob Hall, and John Hawkes as Doug Hansen. Shooting starts January 13 in the Dolomites in Italy and will continue in Nepal and Iceland."]

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  • Hari

    Because “The Fifth Estate” was such a hit? Its very, very clear that Cumberbatch has the bankability of like a Topher Grace or Freddie Prinze Jr. He is a good character actor at best, and more likely a TV star. Not a movie star.

    • baltimore

      I have to agree. Nothing against Cumberbatch, he seems very likeable and is quite a good actor. But he’s no Tom Hardy, doesn’t have the looks or the charisma or indeed the intensity that Hardy would have brought to this role. Mallory was a handsome man too so Hardy fit the bill perfectly, sadly Benedict doesn’t. :(

      • The Flobbit

        I can’t tell you about looks, but Cumberbatch DID win the Sexiest Movie Stars of 2013 poll, and his charisma is such that he has the world’s biggest fanbase, and he is indeed incredibly intense. Hardy is a great actor, but has a tough face, and looks nothing like Mallory.

      • The Flobbit

        I can’t tell you about looks, but Cumberbatch DID win the Sexiest Movie Stars of 2013 poll, and his charisma is such that he has the world’s biggest fanbase, and he is indeed incredibly intense. Hardy is a great actor, but has a tough face, and looks nothing like Mallory.

      • Hari

        Are you joking? Do you really think Cumberbatch is the sexiest movie star… I mean, just objectively, that is really, really hard to defend. His charisma is non-existent. I’m not saying he is a bad actor, because he isn’t. He just isn’t a movie star.

        Cumberbatch doesn’t have that it factor that someone like DiCaprio, Fassbender, or even Bradley Cooper has.

        And he has the loudest fanbase. Not the biggest. Just look at his results. He had a movie come out in wide release last weekend with the WORST opening for a film that was released wide all year. Some freaking fanbase.

      • The Flobbit

        I am not joking, and I said nothing about what I thought. Hundreds of thousands of people voted for their sexiest movie star of 2013, and Benedict Cumberbatch beat everyone else to the top spot. His charisma is non-existent. JJ Abrams, Steven Moffat, Steven Spielberg, Steve McQueen, Peter Jackson, and Doug Liman have something different to say.

        The fact that he is acting in over 6 movies in this year, and at least that many more that he is in talks for in the next two years shows you that, YES, he is very much a movie star.

        I don’t know about loudest fanbase, but when I hear that I think about Whedon and Abrams, and Tom Hiddleston. And I do not know where you get your results from, but there are PLENTY of movies that opened worse than The Fifth Estate (White House Down and Turbo come to mind), and all the criticism has been aimed at the movie’s slack, boring screenplay, with the praise being levelled at Benedict and his co-star Daniel Bruhl.

      • Hari

        Benedict Cumberbatch is popular on the internet. No one is disputing that. It doesn’t surprise me that he won some fan-voted award, because Sherlock is a very popular show. I’m sure if Andrew Lincoln or Bryan Cranston were to marshall their fans, they could win too. Cumberbatch is a great TV actor.

        Again, I think our disagreement is that we have different definitions of movie stars. Under your defenition, someone like say Paul Giamatti is a movie star because he works a lot. A movie star in most definitions is like the Tom Cruise/Will Smith/DiCaprio/Brad Pitt vein.

        White House Down was a disappointment, but it still opened to $25M and made close to ~$200,000,000 worldwide. Granted on a higher budget and more audience friendly subject, but still it didn’t completely flop. Turbo is the same situation. It still made ~$225,000,000 worldwide.

        The Fifth Estate opened to LESS than $2M for the entire weekend. How is that a better result that White House Down or Turbo? In what world?

      • The Flobbit

        I am getting increasingly tired with this conversation. You could argue until you were blue in the face about the definition of a movie star and an actor and whothehellcares what else.

        The bottom line is that Cumberbatch is an immensely talent actor who has just broken onto the big screen in the last year or so. Give him 5 years, and he will be just as big as DiCaprio and Smith. As their stars fade, new ones will rise.

    • The Flobbit

      Star Trek Into Darkness
      Desolation of Smaug
      12 Years a Slave
      August: Osage County
      Alan Turing Pic
      Everest Pic
      Lost City of Z pic…

      Would tell you something different. Cumberbatch is very much a movie star.

      • Hari

        STID: Not the lead role, and the film was not sold on his name
        Hobbit: Voice role
        12 Years: He is like the 7th lead
        August: Osage County: See 12 Years a Slave
        Alan Touring Movie: Has not been released (or even finished filming yet)
        Everest: Rumors
        Lost City of Z: Hasn’t even started production

        Also see The Fifth Estate: Cumberbatch’s name over the title. Cumberbatch in the lead role. Worst opening for a wide release in 2013. Such a movie star, right?

        And a movie star isn’t someone who is in big movies. Its someone who is the lead in big movies that are successes.

      • The Flobbit

        Who the hell cares about whether he is the lead or not? He was all that people were talking about on STID, and the fact that the film was not sold in his name is the stupidest thing I’ve heard in a long time. Star Wars was not sold in Luke’s name, and he’s not the lead role, either…

        And who the hell cares whether his upcoming movie has started filming or not? HE WILL BE THE LEAD, regardless.

        And Cumberbatch is not responsible for The Fifth Estate’s bad opening (which is NOT the worst opening of the year); people praised his acting, and even Assange himself said his performance was spot on. Bill Condon and the awful, unfocused, unfactual screenplay is to fault. NOT CUMBERBATCH.

        And because he has one stinker in his career, you instantly say he is a failure? You sir, are a fool.

        For the sake of my brain cells, I will choose to ignore your final statement, as there is too much wrong with it to even begin to help you.

  • The Flobbit

    I love Benedict Cumberbatch as one of my favourite actors, but PLEASE PEOPLE! Stop overrating him. Stop casting him in everything. He doesn’t even look the part, though undoubtedly he will do brilliantly. Dan Stevens and Matthew Goode look far more like George Mallory. Cast THEM.

    And I think I’m more excited for Kormakur’s Everest, starring Brolin, Hawkes, Gylenhaal, and Clarke. I can’t tell at this point, though.

  • JustSayMaybe

    It seems that Cumberbatch is being cast in everything. Hollywood won’t give up once it decides on who it wants to be a star though. That is why we still have Topher Grace, Ryan Reynolds, and Colin Farrell starring in a film every six months. A flop won’t slow Cumberbatch down at all. A slew of them wouldn’t. There are other English actors I’d love to see get half the chances he gets. All of them on the featured list are perfect examples. At least the blowback is finally starting to come out.

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  • The Doctor

    I am a big fan of Sherlock, and on the side I loved reading about Mt. Everest’s stories and history. I am pleasantly surprised by this article. Whether or not Cumberbatch is cast as George Mallory, I hope that the actors can do a good job. I hope Everest will be a good movie for all to remember, and not be a disappointment.