Sam Heughan Will Star Opposite Ewan McGregor in Mountaineer Drama Everest

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Photo credit: Mike Pont - Getty Images
Photo credit: Mike Pont - Getty Images

Outlander fans, you'll want to pay attention to this news from the Cannes Film Festival marketplace. Sam Heughan has just signed on to star opposite Ewan McGregor and Mark Strong in Everest, an adventure drama based on the real life of English mountaineer George Mallory.

Not to be confused with the Jake Gyllenhaal movie of the same name from a few years back, this Everest takes place in 1921, and centers on McGregor's Mallory as he prepares to tackle his greatest mountaineering challenge yet. As the story picks up, Mallory is selected by the Royal Geographic Society's Arthur Hinks (Strong) to climb the as-yet-unconquered Mount Everest. His Australian rival in this effort is George Finch, who's played by Heughan.

Per a synopsis posted by Deadline, the challenge comes with extra stakes for both men: "Following World War I, the fading British empire is desperate for a victory, but for Mallory and his rival, the eccentric Aussie George Finch, the challenge has nothing to do with patriotism, instead it is a singular test of self."

And at risk of spoilers, the journey did not end happily in real life. Mallory took part in the first three British expeditions to Everest, in 1921, 1922 and 1924–and during the 1924 trip, he and his climbing partner Andrew Irvine vanished. They were last seen roughly 800 feet from the summit, but it's not known whether they reached the top before dying. Mallory's fate was a mystery for several decades, until his frozen body was discovered on Everest in 1999.

Everest will be directed by Doug Liman, whose credits include The Bourne Identity and Edge of Tomorrow. The script is by Sheldon Turner, who wrote the Oscar-nominated screenplay for Up In The Air.

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