Tom Hiddleston To Play Sir Edmund Hillary In ‘Tenzing’ About The First Climbers To Conquer Everest; Willem Dafoe Also Aboard See-Saw Films Pic With Hunt For Tenzing Actor Underway — Cannes Market Hot Project

EXCLUSIVE: Oscar-winning producer See-Saw Films (The King’s Speech) is gearing up on Tenzing, about the inspirational life of Sherpa Tenzing Norgay and his summit of Mount Everest in 1953 alongside fellow outsider New Zealander Edmund Hillary.

A search is underway to cast the lead role of Tenzing Norgay who will star alongside BAFTA-nominated Tom Hiddleston (Loki) as Sir Edmund Hillary and four-time Oscar nominee Willem Dafoe (Poor Things) as the English expedition leader, Colonel John Hunt.

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Tenzing comes from filmmaker Jennifer Peedom who has the exclusive rights to tell Tenzing’s story via his family and has a close relationship with the Sherpa community after making acclaimed documentary Sherpa.

Script comes from Oscar-nominated Luke Davies (Lion) and producers are Liz Watts, Emile Sherman and Iain Canning for See-Saw Films, alongside Jennifer Peedom and Luke Davies. Executive producers are Simon Gillis, David Michôd and Norbu Tenzing.

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. 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.

This will be one of the hot projects at next week’s Cannes market where Rocket Science will be handling international sales in partnership with Cross City Films, See-Saw’s in-house sales arm. UTA Independent Film Group and Cross City Films are co-repping the U.S. sale. We understand filming is being lined up for spring 2025.

Peedom, known for her intimate portraits against epic landscapes, including documentaries Solo, Sherpa and Mountain, said: “I could not be more thrilled to be bringing Tenzing Norgay’s story to the screen. I’ve been working towards this film my whole career, and I’m incredibly grateful to Tenzing’s family for entrusting me with it. I am excited to work with See-Saw Films and our amazing cast to bring this story to life. Tom Hiddleston and Willem Dafoe are two of the most generous and talented actors in the business, so pairing them with our brilliant Himalayan cast is going to be electric. I have no doubt this film will resonate widely. We all have our own mountains to climb, and this film shows us what human beings are truly capable of.”

Producers Emile Sherman and Iain Canning added: “We are so excited to embark on this exhilarating ascent led by one of the most inspirational directors we’ve encountered, Jennifer Peedom. Her award-winning experience in the world of high-altitude filmmaking, alongside her unique relationship with the Sherpa community and her masterful storytelling skills make her the perfect director for this film.”

Norbu Tenzing, son of Tenzing Norgay, commented: “Jen is somebody who has earned the respect of our people, understands the community, and is deeply immersed in our culture. She’s a great human being and someone that we trust, and she has had a lifelong interest in the story of my father Tenzing Norgay. I am delighted that she has taken on this project and can’t wait for the world to see who my father was.”

Hiddleston is represented by UTA, Hamilton Hodell, and Johnson Shapiro Slewett & Kole. Dafoe is represented by WME, The Artist Partnership, and Circle of Confusion.

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