Walden Media’s newest venture takes form in the movie Everest, which is about a group of mountain climbers who embark on a journey up the world’s highest peak. The movie showcases the group’s struggle to survive as they make their way up the summit.
Since in the past Walden Media has been known for their kid-friendly films, such as Bridge to Terabithia and The Chronicles of Narnia, Everest is definitely a step in a new direction. The CEO of Walden media, Frank Smith revealed, “[Walden Media] saw [Everest] as a compelling story for adults to take their teenage kids to see…it is PG-13 not because it has any sexual content or extreme violence. It’s due to the intensity of people freezing to death up on the mountain. But it has a good message that will appeal to parents with older kids.”
The company has also come out to say that they are looking to expand their market to more mature (yet still family oriented) films and not strictly kid-friendly movies. This change taking place after the studio underwent a big overhaul in 2013, where it decided to focus in on co-financing and film production. In addition, Walden Media has dialed down its ventures, aiming for 14 movies a year instead of its usual 24. Smith noted that previously the company wasn’t “reacting quickly enough to the changes in the industry,” and therefore its new model is more aligned with the current conditions of the movie business.
The movie stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Josh Brolin and Jason Clark, as mountain climbers who are hit by a severe storm while making their way to the top of Everest. The film is based on the true story of a group of climbers that made the trek in 1996. Unfortunately, all eight of them never made it back down from the summit. The movie’s cast also includes notable actresses, Emma Watson and Keira Knightley.
In order to hype the movie, they have released a featurette explaining the basis behind the film and ultimately why people even dare attempt such a feat as climbing Mount Everest.
The featurette opens with the narrative stating, “human beings simply aren’t built to function at the cruising altitude of a 747,” as bold music establishes the intensity behind the film.
It continues with star Jake Gyllenhaal explaining that the journey up the mountain is “[often not] about getting to the top,” and rather the idea of conquering something or facing a fear.
David Breashears, the co-producer on the film, describes the indescribable feeling he had when he became the 137th person to get to the top of Mount Everest.
Baltasar Kormakur, who directed the film, goes on to say that climbing Everest to him is like a “metaphor for any kind of audition.” Baltasar explains there is no true answer to why someone would want to climb the mountain, however in doing so one is able to determine who they are at “the core of themselves.”
The teaser ends with a snippet of the movie, showing a climber explaining, “There is a competition between every person and this mountain. The last word always belongs to the mountain.”
There is no doubt that this movie will exemplify the ability for a person to persevere, show strength and resilience during unimaginable adversity. Just from the preview, it is clear that the movie will immerse viewers into the emotions and action that accompanies the extreme temperatures and conditions encountered on the mountain.
However, it is questionable if simply the visuals and cast can carry a 2-hour feature film and keep things interesting throughout. Unfortunately, I have a hard time feeling too excited about Everest, due to the fact that the underlying themes are nothing new (people looking within themselves to defy odds – i.e. 127 hours, etc).
You can catch Everest in theatres now.
Everest Movie Trailer 2015
Everest Movie Featurette