Tom Hiddleston Everest Thriller ‘Tenzing’ Lands at Apple

“Tenzing,” a film about the true story of Sherpa Tenzing Norgay’s 1953 trek to the summit of Mount Everest alongside Edmund Hillary, has been snapped up by Apple Original Films.

Casting is underway for Tenzing while “Loki” star Tom Hiddleston is set to play New Zealand mountaineer Hillary.

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Willem Dafoe (“Eternity’s Gate”) is expected to star as English expedition leader Colonel John Hunt.

Apple acquired the rights the project in what was described as a “competitive situation” as Cannes kicked off. It is one of the first major deals to come out of the market as it goes into Day 3.

“Tibetan born Tenzing Norgay, alongside New Zealand mountaineer Edmund Hillary, both outsiders on a British Expedition, defied insurmountable odds to achieve what was once thought impossible, reaching the summit of the world’s tallest mountain, Mount Everest,” reads the logline. “After six previous attempts, Tenzing risked everything for one final venture. He had to navigate treacherous politics and perilous weather as he embarked on the most significant climb of his life. Through it all, he did so with humor, warmth, and generosity towards his fellow climbers, but also deep reverence and respect for the sacred Mother Goddess of his Mountain, Chomolungma.”

The film, which is set to be directed by Jennifer Peedom (“Solo”), will be produced by U.K.-Australian production outfit See-Saw Films (“Power of the Dog”). Peedom recently completed “Sherpa,” a documentary about the Sherpa community and has a pre-existing relationship with the Tenzing family. Luke Davies (“Lion”) has written the screenplay.

Producers are Liz Watts, Emile Sherman and Iain Canning for See-Saw Films and Desray Armstrong, Peedom and Davies. Simon Gillis, David Michôd and Tenzing’s son Norbu Tenzing executive produce.

Hiddleston is represented by Hamilton Hodell, UTA, Johnson Shapiro Slewett & Kole LLP and Prosper PR. Dafoe is represented by WME, Circle of Confusion and Narrative. Peedom is represented by Anonymous Content. Davies is represented by CAA, EML Entertainment and Paul Hastings.

UTA Independent Film Group and Cross City Films, See-Saw’s in-house sales arm, brokered the deal with Apple.

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