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Doug Liman climbs aboard EVEREST for Sony

Doug Liman may be an experienced climber in real-life, but his now going pro. Deadline reports that the Bourne Identity director has signed on to direct Everest, a Sony Pictures drama about "George Mallory and his three attempts in the early 1920s to become the first man to climb Everest, the world’s highest mountain." The film is being adaped from Jeffrey Archer’s book Paths of Glory, by Sheldon Turner who is penning the script. Jennifer Klein is serving as producer on the project.

The film is about "Mallory’s burning obsession to climb to the top of Mount Everest, and a rivalry with another great climber, Australian George Finch (the grandfather of actor Peter Finch) to get there first. While Everest has been scaled many times (though bodies are littered near the top of the summit of those who failed), the feat was symbolically important and for its time was akin to landing on the moon. Great Britain had been decimated by WWI, there was poverty and angst and the nation needed a hero to rally around. Mallory became that hero, even as he was forced to return short of his goal on his first two attempts in 1921 and 1922. At the same time, he was a devoted husband and father, and his family wanted him home. After refusing to use oxygen to aid him in high altitude on the first two attempts, he and his climbing partner, Sandy Irvine, changed tactics for their final run for the mountaintop in 1924. They were glimpsed near the top as they started the final approach to the top, but then disappeared in the clouds and were never heard from again."

Here is some more information about the controversy surrounding Mallory:

Debate continues over whether Mallory reached the top, and it continued even after his remains were found in 1999 by climber Conrad Anker, 75 years after Mallory’s disappearance. Anker’s discovery, and subsequent attempt to scale Everest using the same thin garments, equipment and route used by Mallory and Irvine, was the subject of a remarkable 2010 Anthony Geffen-directed documentary, The Wildest Dream. One of the intriguing things was what wasn’t found on Mallory. He took with him a photo of his wife, which he vowed to place atop Everest. It was not found in his possessions. The first successful climb in which the men returned to tell the tale, didn’t come until 1953 when New Zealander Edmund Hillary and Nepali sherpa climber Tenzing Norgay.

I loved Turner's script for Up in the Air, so this should have some nice drama too it. Liman's knowledge of climbing and ability to craft tense scenes will help as well. What are your thoughts?

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