Outside Gives Us an Inside Look at Everest


We’re still several weeks off from the release of the major motion picture Everest, but already the hype-train is leaving the station. Over the next few weeks I’m sure we’ll see a steady stream of press events, interviews, and sneak previews all leading up to the film’s arrival in theaters on September 18.  Outside magazine is already leading the charge however with an interview with cast and crew members from the blockbuster movie that could redefine mountaineering films to come.

The article takes us behind the scenes to get a look at the production of Everest, which reportedly cost $55 million to make. That is relatively small change in Hollywood these days, particularly when you consider the cast of the film. Josh Brolin portrays one of the climbers, with Jason Clarke, Jake Gyllenhaal, Kiera Knightly, Robin Wright, and a host of other notables on playbill.

The film is based upon the 1996 climbing season on Everest, famously chronicled in Jon Krakauer’s Into Thin Air. It has been nearly two decades since those events took place, and considering the last two seasons on Everest have been tragic in their own right, it will be interesting to see how the events unfold on the big screen. But the producers spared no expense in filming the movie, with such luminaries as David Breashears, Guy Cotter, and David Morton onboard to provide video footage and advice. They even traveled to Nepal to film some of scenes, although much of the principle photography was done in the Italian Dolomites, which stood in for the Himalaya.

It has taken years to get this film into theaters, and the story of that production is a fascinating one. Outside takes us through the early efforts to convince Hollywood to make the movie, and what it took to get a director, cast, and crew onboard. Those deeply involved with making Everest also share their insights into the characters from the story, challenges of filming on location and much more.

If you’re interested in Everest, the 1996 season, or big Hollywood films, this is an interesting article to read to say the least. While I am personally trying to be cautiously optimistic about the film, I am eager to see it for myself and see how it turns out. Considering the talent that is involved with the movie, and the heritage of those who helped produce it, I suspect it could be one of the most realistic mountaineering films we’ve seen in a long time, if not ever. Judging from the trailer, the scenery alone will probably be worth the price of admission.

We have to wait another month before we know for sure, and advance reviews will probably give us some hints of what to expect. But hopefully the film will be entertaining and insightful. If it educates a larger audience about what happens on Everest each spring, all the better.

Kraig Becker