'Everest' Movie Rescued by Cross Creek Pictures

Jake Gyllenhaal
Jake Gyllenhaal
 Ruven Afanador

A version of this story first appeared in the Nov. 22 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.

Cross Creek Pictures has swooped in to save the deadly mountain-climbing film Everest.

Universal and Working Title scrambled to find a partner after financiers Randall Emmett and George Furla exited the film in October. But when the Nov. 6 production start passed, the Everest prognosis was grim, much like the true story in Jon Krakauer's Into Thin Air, one of several accounts of an expedition that left eight dead. Now sources say Cross Creek is nearing a deal to co-finance. Walden Media is taking a financial stake as well.

"There were a lot of budget issues on Everest -- that's all I can say," says Emmett of why he and Furla decamped. "It's a movie we spent a lot of money on. [But] there will be a happy ending for Everest no matter what."

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The Baltasar Kormakur-directed film, set to star Jason Clarke, Jake Gyllenhaal and Josh Brolin, can't be pushed much longer because its Italian Alps shoot is contingent on weather. Everest was supposed to mark the first project in a ballyhooed September deal between Emmett/Furla and the deep-pocketed Corsan. (Backed by Belgian Paul Breuls, Corsan is said to be investing $125 million in the new Emmett/Furla/Oasis Films.)

But Emmett says the Everest exit isn't a sign of financial woes for the company, which is capping the busiest year in its 15-year history with six films, including two Mark Wahlberg starrers for Universal (2 Guns and Lone Survivor). "We loved Everest more than anything," he says. "But the budget kept changing."

Brian Oliver's financing and production company Cross Creek has an output deal with Universal and has also financed Rush for Working Title. Cross Creek's Tyler Thompson is coming on as a producer. Emmett and Furla are expected to stay on as executive producers.

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