Christian Bale will (attempt to) climb ‘Everest’

Movie Talk

The man saved Gotham City from all sorts of evil freaks from the Rogues Gallery. But can he scale a really big mountain known for its epic wintry wrath?

"The Dark Knight" star Christian Bale is set to get physical and take on seemingly insurmountable odds once again as he bundles up for "Everest," a disaster/survival tale revolving around Earth's highest -- and, arguably, most lethal -- mountain.

"Everest" (at least this particular movie called "Everest," but we'll get to that in a bit) is based on a 1996 incident in which three separate expeditions were hit by a massive storm that left eight climbers dead. The story was first officially told in the nonfiction book "Into Thin Air," written by Jon Krakauer, one of the lucky survivors.

Baltasar Kormakur will direct the film, working with a script by Justin Isbell that draws from the book as well as interviews with other survivors. Kormakur is certainly used to making a movie under extreme conditions after calling the shots on "The Deep," another true-life survival tale about a fisherman who managed to swim several miles to shore in hypothermic waters after his boat capsized off the south coast of Iceland. The film was this year's official Icelandic entry for the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film and made the January shortlist.

This "Everest" shouldn't be confused with another studio film of the same name that's currently in development, which is based on a book by Jeffrey Archer that chronicles Sir George Mallory's 1920 quest to be the first to reach the top of the mountain. Christian Bale's "The Dark Knight Rises" enemy Tom Hardy is attached to star in that project, with Doug Liman ("The Bourne Identity") set to direct.

Christian Bale climbed a mountain or two in snowy Himalayan conditions in "Batman Begins," so there's no reason to think he can't handle one with a peak that's 29,029 feet above sea level. He recently wrapped two Terrence Malick projects, including "Knight of Cups," and the crime drama "Out of the Furnace." He's also attached to star in Todd Field's "The Creed of Violence" and is set to reunite with his "The Fighter" director David O. Russell for the historical thriller formerly known as "American Bulls**t," which centers on Abscam, the FBI sting operation that led to the conviction of several U.S. congressmen.