Benedict Cumberbatch is being lined up as the lead in Everest, the biopic of ill-fated mountaineer George Mallory. The role was initially intended for Tom Hardy, who starred alongside Cumberbatch in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, but scheduling clashes have ruled him out.
If the Sherlock and Fifth Estate star does land the part, it could be fate: some commentators have noted that Cumberbatch bears a resemblance to the famous climber who may or may not have reached the top of the mountain.
Director Doug Liman’s film will seek to shed light on the mysterious story of Mallory, an English mountaineer who disappeared on one of the earliest expeditions to Mount Everest, his third attempt to conquer the peak.
Liman is one of two filmmakers attempting to be first to complete Everest – Baltasar Kormakur is making a movie of the same name about the disastrous climb that claimed the lives of eight people in 1996. That story was originally captured in the bestselling book Into Thin Air written by John Krakauer, based on his first-hand experiences of surviving the terrible ordeal.
Like Linman, Kormakur has faced setbacks in his attempts to bring real events from the mountain to the big screen, with finances still up in the air, according to Deadline.
With a cast set to include Jake Gyllenhaal, Josh Brolin, John Hawkes and Jason Clarke, it probably won’t be very long until someone else steps in, but who knows which movie will be the first to drive their filmic flag into the snowy peak?