'Everest' Movie Blasted As "Total Bull" By 'Into Thin Air' Writer Jon Krakauer

Jon Krakauer - H 2015
AP Photo/Ed Andrieski

"Anyone who goes to that movie and wants a fact-based account should read 'Into Thin Air,' " the author, who's played by Michael Kelly in the Universal film, says.

Into Thin Air author Jon Krakauer, who wrote about the 1996 blizzard on Mt. Everest that left eight climbers dead, is fine with audiences not flocking to see Everest, the new disaster film that tells the same story, in which he is a character. 

"It’s total bull,” Krakauer told the Los Angeles Times. "Anyone who goes to that movie and wants a fact-based account should read Into Thin Air."

House of Cards' star Michael Kelly portrays the now 61-year-old Krakauer in the film. Krakauer saw Everest last weekend, according to theTimes. He wasn't pleased.

One scene in particular really irked Krakauer, he said. In the film — which has a 73 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes — his character is asked to help with the rescue by Russian guide Anatoli Boukreev, but he declines, claiming he is "snow blind."

"I never had that conversation," Krakauer told theTimes. "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."

Everest director Baltasar Kormakur told the Times there was no malice meant by the film.

"Our intention in the tent scene that Mr. Krakauer mentions was to illustrate how helpless people were and why they might not have been able to go out and rescue people ... " Kormakur told the Times through his publicist. "They were not malicious. They were helpless."

Krakauer sold the rights to his book, around the time it was published, to Sony Pictures, which in turn made the TV movie, Into Thin Air: Death on Everest. In that adaptation, Krakauer is played by Christopher McDonald.

"People told me, 'Movies never get made. Take the money. What do you have to lose?' " Krakauer told the Times. "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."