“Everest” is now in theaters, giving everyone IMAX and 3D enhanced vertigo, at least until “The Walk” opens. And while the mountain climbing drama has earned mix reviews, it has received a scathing notice from someone intimate with the true story tale: author Jon Krakauer, who was on the climb, and recounted the adventure in his book “Into Thin Air.” While the movie isn’t based on his work, Krakauer is nonetheless displeased with the results, and in particular, how his character (played by Michael Kelly) is portrayed. **MILD SPOILERS AHEAD**
“It’s total bull,” he told The Los Angeles Times. “Anyone who goes to that movie and wants a fact-based account should read ‘Into Thin Air.’ “
In particular, he’s peeved at a scene in the film in which he’s asked to help rescue Jason Clarke‘s Rob Hall, but declines because he’s snow blind. “I never had that conversation,” writer said. “[Russian guide] Anatoli [Boukreev] came to several tents, and not even sherpas could go out. I’m not saying I could have, or would have. What I’m saying is, no one came to my tent and asked.”
The filmmaker did respond to Krakauer’s charges. “Our intention in the tent scene that Mr. Krakauer mentions was to illustrate how helpless people were and why they might not have been able to go out and rescue people…” Baltasar Kormákur said in statement. “They were not malicious. They were helpless.” He also added that the film’s writers, William Nicholson and Simon Beaufoy, “tried to look at things from a fair point of view without choosing sides.”
Still, this rankles Krakauer who has now been burned twice in adaptations of the Everest story. His book was initially optioned by Sony shortly after publication, and turned into the TV movie, “Into Thin Air: Death On Everest.” The results weren’t great. And now there’s Universal’s take on the tale which has him declining to help in a scene that Krakauer says never actually happened.
It does need to be said that any movie that is based on a true story will take dramatic license, though no one wants to look helpless or unwilling on the big screen. Thoughts? Is Krakauer making too much of a big deal about that scene? Let us know below.