Thursday 23 November 2017

Jake Gyllenhaal's Everest movie is 'total bull' says writer who lived through experiences depicted

Everest is a slickly orchestrated recreation of an ill-fated ascent
Everest is a slickly orchestrated recreation of an ill-fated ascent
Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

Everest, the movie starring Jake Gyllenhaal based on the true story of eight people who died while trying to climb the mountain, has been slated by a writer who lived through the experience.

Jon Krakauer wrote the best-selling book, Into Thin Air, about the disaster in 1996, and suggested that safety is sometimes compromised in the race between teams to the top.

Krakauer's guide Rob Hall was one of the eight people to die in the unexpected storm on the mountain that day.

The movie, which is directed by Baltasar Kormákur and also stars Josh Brolin and Keira Knightley, is not based on Krakauer's 1997 book but he has questioned its accuracy.

"It's total bull," he said to the LA Times. "Anyone who goes to that move and wants a fact-based account should read 'Into Thin Air'."

Sony Pictures bought the film rights to Krakauer's book in 1997 and made a TV movie.

“People told me, ‘Movies never get made. Take the money. What do you have to lose?’” he said.

"I curse myself for selling it at all. What I learned from the TV movie was that dramatic films take dramatic license, and when you sign a document, you can do whatever you want with me. It wasn’t worth the money I got.”

Krakauer was not consulted on Everest and is unhappy with how his character is portrayed in the film.  He is asked to help with the rescue by a Russian guide but refuses because he says he is "snow blind".

“I never had that conversation,” Krakauer said. “Anatoli came to several tents, and not even sherpas could go out. I’m not saying I could have, or would have. What I’m saying is, no one came to my tent and asked.”

The director has hit back at Krakauer's statements by saying that scene was supposed to "illustrate how helpless people were and why they might not have been able to go out and rescue people."

In a statement released to The Times he added, "They were not malicious.  They were helpless."

He added that he had access to several books written about the event and four advisors on the movie had been present during the rescue attempt. 

 “The writers and I tried to look at things from a fair point of view without choosing sides,” he added.

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