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Julia Roberts producing Mt. Everest film

Shekhar Kapur will direct George Mallory biopic

Shekhar Kapur is heading for Mt. Everest, signing on to direct a biopic of famed English explorer George Mallory with Julia Roberts’ Red Om Films and Kevin Townsend’s Science + Fiction producing.

Mallory’s remembered as having said, “Because it’s there” in reply to the question “Why do you want to climb Mt. Everest?” He and his climbing partner disappeared in 1924; they were 800 feet from the summit before the clouds closed in.

“Mallory” is being produced by Townsend, Roberts, Philip Rose and Lisa Gillan of Red Om Films. Set in post-WW1 England, the story chronicles Mallory’s attempts to scale Everest and the toll it takes on his marriage, as the mountain becomes his obsession.

The script’s written by Townsend and the team of Matthew Faulk and Mark Skeet (“Vanity Fair”). Kapur’s credits include “Elizabeth” and “Elizabeth: the Golden Age.”

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