Mountain climbing movies aren't usually the biggest draw, but perhaps the problem with K2 and Vertical Limit was that they were fiction. After all, Touching the Void was based on a true story, and it did pretty well for a dramatization doc. And now comes word that the historical climb of Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzig Norgay, the first men to reach the top of Mount Everest, may be made into a movie. Roger Donaldson is currently attempting to get funding for the idea, which is currently called Higher Ground. No stranger to true stories, Donaldson directed The World's Fastest Indian, Thirteen Days, as well as the clearly titled Marie: A True Story. He recently had planned to make a movie about Ernest Hemingway, with Anthony Hopkins as the writer, but he had too many problems getting it under way.
But do people outside of New Zealand have much interest in Hillary? Sure, every school kid probably knows who he is, but knowing about a famous person and wanting to see a movie about his life are two very different things. Especially when that movie is going to consist of a lot of boring mountain climbing -- sorry, but there are only so many scenes you can have with a team of covered-up actors climbing up a snowy, windy peak, and still keep it interesting. Donaldson says Hillary's life will make, "an extraordinary movie." We'll see.