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U, Working Title plan expedition to ‘Everest’

Daldry & Cristofer working from own research, interviews

Director Stephen Daldry and scribe Michael Cristofer are planning to scale “Everest” for Universal and Working Title Pictures.

While Daldry’s last film, “The Hours,” turned the trick of weaving together three generations of women in crisis, “Everest” is the most logistically ambitious film he’s taken on.

Cristofer’s script is based on the disastrous climb of Mount Everest which took place May 10, 1996, when three expeditions were hit by a ferocious blizzard at nightfall. Eight people were left dead by the storm. As in “The Perfect Storm,” the drama will be interspersed with the stories of loved ones waiting to see who makes it down the mountain.

While numerous books were written on the disaster, including Jon Krakauer’s first-hand account “Into Thin Air,” Cristofer and Daldry are working from their own research and interviews.

The film is being produced by Working Title partners Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner, who are reuniting with Daldry after “Billy Elliot.” Daldry is obligated to direct another film for Working Title, and “Everest” is a prime candidate.

Cristofer, an actor who climbed into screenwriting and directing after he won the Pulitzer Prize for his Broadway play “The Shadow Box,” has several projects moving forward. He rewrote “Void Moon,” the Warner Bros. and Franchise adaptation of the Michael Connelly novel about a high-tech cat burglar. Director Mimi Leder is eyeing the project.

Cristofer also redrafted the Kimberly Simi script “Casanova,” a Disney period pic that will be director Lasse Hallstrom’s next film. Produced by Mark Gordon and Hallstrom’s Laha Films partner Leslie Holleran, the film focuses on the famed lothario and how he learns the meaning of love when he finds a woman immune to his charms. Industry and CAA rep Cristofer, CAA reps Daldry.

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