With awards season fast approaching, it’s looking like this could be the year animation awards finally grow up. With Sundance winner “Flee” earning early buzz, there’s clearly a growing appetite for more mature animated fare in the U.S. Entering into the fray this year is “The Summit of the Gods,” a sweeping 2D animation from French director Patrick Imbert. Adapted from the acclaimed manga series of the same name, “The Summit of the Gods” follows a Japanese adventure photographer and mountaineer obsessed with finding a legendary climber attempting to scale Mount Everest. IndieWire is proud to premiere the trailer exclusively below.
Here’s the official synopsis, per Netflix: “Were George Mallory and his companion Andrew Irvine the first men to scale Everest on June 8, 1924? Only the little Vestpocket Kodak camera they took with them might reveal the truth. In Kathmandu, 70 years later, a young Japanese reporter named Fukamachi Makoto recognizes the camera in the hands of the mysterious Habu Joji, an outcast climber believed missing for years. Fukamachi enters a world of obsessive mountaineers hungry for impossible conquests on a journey that leads him, step by step, towards the summit of the gods.”
The animated epic was adapted from the popular manga series by Jirô Taniguchi and Baku Yumemakura, which drew from Yumemakura’s original serialized novel, published between 1994 and 1997.
“In order to fit five tomes into a single story, you must make choices and find a structure,” Imbert said of adapting the manga. “I came back to the simple question: What was Yumemakura’s intent? At the mountain’s horn, there was that thread, this rope, which bound the two main characters. To me, the axis was obvious.”
A prolific animator and director, Imbert supervised animation on feature films “April and the Extraordinary World,” and “Ernest and Célestine.” In 2018, he co-directed “The Big Bad Fox and Other Tales” with Benjamin Renner, with whom he shared the César for Best Animated Movie.
Imbert is joined by co-writer Magali Pouzol, producer and co-writer Jean-Charles Ostorero, and producers Didier and Damien Brunner (“The Triplets of Belleville”). The film features an original score by Amine Bouhafa, the French-Tunisian composer of César-winner “Timbuktu.”
Netflix will release “The Summit of the Gods” in select U.S. theaters on November 24, in the UK on November 26, and on Netflix on November 30. Check out IndieWire’s exclusive trailer below.
And the poster for “The Summit of the Gods,” below.