You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Everest’ Director: We Need to Make Films That Feel Real

Everest” director Baltasar Kormákur was feeling on top of the world at the film premiere Wednesday night at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood.

Kormákur was joyful when he learned that mountaineer Alison Levine called the film trailer the most accurate film portrayal of Earth’s highest mountain. It was a feat the director wanted to make while filming at the Italian Alps and near Everest’s South Base Camp in Nepal.

“When I heard that they were making this movie I thought, ‘Oh great, another cheesy, adrenaline-junky-Everest movie that seemed so unrealistic,” Levine said on the red carpet. “I could not believe how close this trailer looked to the real conditions on Everest. This, to me, looks like the most realistic climbing movie I’ve ever seen.”

And she would know. The explorer accomplished the Adventure Grand Slam in 2010 — climbing the highest peaks on all seven continents and reaching the north and south poles. Variety‘s Justin Chang wrote in his review, “the ever-present howl of the wind and the scrape of boots on snow are kept in just the right balance with the characters’ voices.”

“I just felt like we should do everything that we could possibly do with the elements,” the director responded. “The more that we make the Marvel studio films fantastic for what they are, the more we need to contradict that and make films that feel real.”

The chilling story in “Everest” follows the 1996 climbing expedition, where eight people lost their lives after a severe snowstorm. At the time, the disaster marked the mountain’s largest death toll during a single season.

“The crew had the hardest time because you have to walk up the mountain and then… you have to shoot for twelve hours,” Kormákur revealed about the most difficult filmmaking effort. “There were avalanche warnings every day on the course, we had to evacuate. We lost our sets due to the avalanches, but what I liked about it was that you’ll look up at the mountain and wonder, ‘What is this mountain going to let me do today?'”

He stated that Josh Brolin was the most “macho” on set and that the actor weathered through his fear of heights while filming. Actress Naoko Mori also felt up to the challenge to conquer a potentially dangerous role.

“There are no cars, no heating, no facilities and basically we had to carry everything ourselves and trek,” she started. “Lunch would be like two boiled eggs and a bit of Yak cheese… but we loved it.”

(Universal’s Jeff Shell and Donna Langley flank Cross Creek’s Brian Oliver.)

The after-party at The Roosevelt Hotel was not a far hike. Guests trekked only a few feet to the late night buffet and drinks provided after the 3D screening. Entering the hotel was an adventure in itself. The party wound around the inside of the hotel and out onto the pool area with more food, dessert trays and the opportunity to take pictures in front of a green screen — putting guests atop the Himalayas.

Film’s stars Michael Kelly and Jason Clarke were looking cool as they mingled at their reserved tables by the pool. The most noticeable absence — aside from Jake Gyllenhaal — was Jack Frost. It was nearly 80 degrees at nightfall while the party had backdrops of snowy mountaintops sprinkled throughout the venue.

Universal releases “Everest” Sept. 25.

(Pictured: Working Title’s Tim Bevan, Baltasar Kormakur and Josh Brolin at the “Everest” premiere)

More Scene

  • Marianne Rendon, Matt Smith, Ondi Timoner

    Robert Mapplethorpe Biopic Team Talks 'Fast and Furious' Filming

    Thursday night’s New York premiere of the Matt Smith-led biopic “Mapplethorpe” took place at Cinépolis Chelsea, just steps from the Chelsea Hotel where the late photographer Robert Mapplethorpe once lived — but director Ondi Timoner had no sense of that legacy when she first encountered him in a very different context. “When I was ten [...]

  • Producer Mel Jones poses at the

    'Dear White People' Producer Talks Hollywood's 'Black Tax'

    “Dear White People” and “Leimert Park” executive producer Mel Jones is extremely familiar with growing up and watching “white men in all types of roles and never [seeing] ourselves as a part of those narratives.” Now, there may be some more opportunities for writers of color to tell their own stories, but, she notes, there [...]

  • Rebel Wilson Isn't It Romantic

    Rebel Wilson on Twitter Gaffe: 'It Was Purely to Lift My Fellow Plus-Size Women Up'

    “I obviously misspoke in that situation,” Rebel Wilson told Variety at the premiere of her latest film “Isn’t It Romantic” Monday, acknowledging the gaffe in which she claimed to be the first-ever plus-sized woman to star in a romantic comedy during an October appearance on “Ellen.” Following the comment, Wilson was met with criticism from Twitter [...]


    How Lena Waithe Convinced Halle Berry to Team Up for 'Boomerang' TV Series

    Halle Berry wasn’t immediately sold on the idea of a “Boomerang” reboot. The 1992 romantic comedy, which starred Berry, Eddie Murphy, and Robin Givens, told the tale of cocky ad executive and insatiable ladies’ man Marcus (Murphy) who meets his match in his new boss Jacqueline (Givens) — an exec who treats him the same [...]

  • Rebel Wilson and Miley Cyrus'Isn't it

    Why Liam Hemsworth Wasn't at His 'Isn't It Romantic' Premiere, but Wife Miley Cyrus Was

    Liam Hemsworth had every intention of bringing his wife, Miley Cyrus, to Monday’s premiere of his new romantic comedy “Isn’t It Romantic.” However, the Aussie actor was forced to skip the evening because of some “health things.” That didn’t stop Cyrus from attended the red carpet shindig at the Theater at the Ace Hotel in downtown [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content