Doug Liman Mounts ‘Everest’ Production

The director of The Bourne Identity and Jumper wants to reach new dramatic heights. Literally.

William Bibbianiby William Bibbiani

Director Doug Liman has just attached himself to an exciting new production called Everest, a Sony Pictures production about George Mallory, a man who tried to scale Mount Everest three times in the 1920s, only to disappear during his third attempt. Deadline reports that the film, based on Jeffrey Archer's book Paths of Glory, will be written by Oscar-nominee Sheldon Turner, who co-wrote the George Clooney dramedy Up in the Air. Liman is an acclaimed director, having previously mounted films like The Bourne Identity and Mr. and Mrs. Smith, and is apparently an avid climber, but we're a little scared for this production. Why?

Did you ever see the DVD or Blu-Ray release of Jumper? No? You should. There's a bonus feature on the disc called Doug Liman's Jumper: Uncensored, which is a refreshingly candid look at the production of the film, and which paints Liman's directing style in a discouraging light, particularly on a large scale production. His extemporaneous style leads to some great moments and a truly memorable tone, but it appears to have been very frustrating for everyone on his set. There's one bit where they're trying to shoot a sequence in the Coliseum (that's the Coliseum) and only have a few hours to do it, but can't find Liman because he's too busy shooting footage himself on a handheld camera. His productions of The Bourne Identity and Mr. and Mrs. Smith were also famously troubled. So it's easy to imagine some potentially serious problems if he pulls similar stunts on Mount Everest, if indeed they'd actually shoot there (as opposed to working purely on a sound stage or against a green screen).

That being said, we'd love to see this movie. It's got a powerfully motivated lead character, potential for truly awe-inspiring set pieces and a strong director, even if he raises a couple of red flags. We seriously doubt it's going to be able to compete with Disney's upcoming Matterhorn movie, however, since that one also has yetis. Doug… Do you think you could throw in a couple yetis? That would be boss.

CraveOnline will be back with more Everest news… because it's there.