Netflix is about to make a major ascent. The streaming service has purchased the rights to First Ascent, a new script that is set in the world of mountain climbing and has been described as “The Shining meets Free Solo,” according to Deadline.
The story follows a free solo climber named Hillary Hall who suffers an accident on a climb that nearly kills her. After two years, Hall brings back her old climbing partners to make a documentary about her comeback, which will see her try and make the “first ascent” of a 4,000 foot “virgin” rock wall in China. As she climbs, Hall will struggle with her “inner demons and supernatural forces, as it slowly becomes clear that this mountain does not want to be conquered.”
Written by Colin Bannon, the movie will be directed by Jake Scott, the son of iconic director Ridley Scott and the nephew of director Tony Scott. Described as an “avid climber,” Scott was taught to climb at a young age by his uncle, giving him some real-life perspective for the film. Scott previously directed the film American Woman with Aaron Paul, and Welcome to the Rileys, starring James Gandolfini.
The script was part of the 2019 Black List, which is a list of the best unproduced screenplays in Hollywood. The script set off a bidding war between studios—at least eight offers were made—with Netflix coming out on top with “a big offer on the table.”
While no production date is official set, Netflix has already started work on promoting the project:
Get ready for a harrowing journey up a 4,000 ft mountain. FIRST ASCENT is coming to Netflix. https://t.co/1aXM6jaOWD
— Netflix Film (@NetflixFilm) December 16, 2019
Read up more on Free Solo and mountain climbing from Men’s Journal: