Ewan McGregor will be taking on the world’s mightiest mountain for his next project, it’s been announced.

Doug Liman doesn’t do things by halves. Having already agreed to be the first director to shoot a film in actual space, along with Tom Cruise, he’s also boarded what sounds like another highly-challenging shoot, Everest. It’s a movie which charts one man’s race to reach the top of the world’s most daunting mountain. McGregor will star as George Mallory, a mountaineer locked into a race with his rival to reach the peak. The film will be a period drama set in the 1920s.

More casting has been announced for the film in the form of Mark Strong, who will play Mallory’s rival, whilst Sam Heughan is also set to feature.

The film is set to posit the idea that Mallory may have been the first man to scale the peak, with HanWay Films’ producer, Gabrielle Stewart stating “Liman and McGregor are passionate adventurers both in life and filmmaking, and this film asks one of the great unresolved questions of the Everest story: was Mallory the first to make it to the top 30 years before Hillary? It would not surprise me if in the wake of this film, and as we approach the centenary of Mallory’s life-taking climb, this great mystery would lead us to one of great discovery.”

It certainly sounds like a project and a half. Here’s the film’s synopsis.

1921. Everest remains the very last great unconquered challenge on earth. Many have sacrificed their sanity and often their lives in the attempt to reach its fabled summit. George Mallory (McGregor) is picked by the arrogant Arthur Hinks (Strong) of the Royal Geographic Society to scale the impossible. Following the First World War, the fading British empire is desperate for a restorative victory, but for Mallory and his rival, the eccentric Aussie George Finch (Heughan), the challenge of Everest has nothing to do with patriotism, instead it is a singular test of self. Climbing without oxygen, to heights not even planes can reach, Mallory‘s successive attempts to make the summit sees a challenge become an all-consuming obsession. It leads him to abandon his beloved wife and three children for months on end, give up his job, and push his body to the limits of human endurance. Everest becomes a very real monster for Mallory, his 45-degree climb to the peak is an inhuman mix of vertigo and nerve-shredding tension, requiring all of his fearlessness and audacity. It takes everything from him for reasons he can barely articulate: because it’s grander than him, it’s the last empty part of the map, and as he simply puts it – ‘because it’s there’.

Filming is expected to begin sometime in 2022, presumably when Liman returns from space.

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