With his last effort, the political drama “Fair Game” dropping last fall, director Doug Liman has spent most of 2011 figuring out what to do next and he’s had no shortage of options. But unfortunately, he’s been hit with a bit of bad luck. While for a moment there it seemed like his ambitious and long-gestating sci-fi flick “Luna” would be getting off the ground, just last week word arrived that financing had collapsed, effectively killing the project. In the same report it appeared that Warner Bros. was wanting to move ahead with “All You Need Is Kill” but that was contingent on a big star, and while WB wanted Brad Pitt, that’s not really near to happening just yet. Liman was also on the wishlist for “The Wolverine” before it went to James Mangold, he signed on to direct a period pic about “Two-Gun” Cohen and he’s also got prison pic “Attica” brewing. But it looks like he may be getting to another project first.
Apparently, Liman is an avid climber (who knew?) and Deadline reports the helmer is set to scale “Everest.” Based on the book “Paths Of Glory” by Jeffrey Archer (title changed for obvious reasons), the story will tell the true tale of George Mallory, the first man to climb Mount Everest. Mallory famously took three tries before reaching the summit but his determination was an inspiration to a scarred Britain just coming out of World War I. While there is some debate as to whether or not he reached the true peak of the mountain, he is largely credited for having accomplished the task. And of course, Mallory is also known for answering the question of why he wanted to do it by simply stating, “Because it’s there.”
The picture currently has a script from “Up In The Air” writer Sheldon Turner and Liman will pair with the scribe on a new draft of the movie, which is apparently a priority over at Sony. Whether or not this becomes Liman’s next picture remains to be seen but of all the options currently on the table, this does look the most viable and it does present a very meaty leading-man role. “Everest” will mark another fascinating shift in direction for Liman, as well as being his first fully fledged period movie, so we’ll be curious to see how this develops.