Although Everest has received mediocre reviews, the mountain epic has still managed to climb to the top of the UK box office in its first week. However, one man unlikely to be seen lining up at the cinema anytime soon is Lord Jeffrey Archer.
The Tory peer has a bone to pick with the producers, claiming they ‘stole’ the title of the planned film adaptation of his own book about Everest which was going to be called… Everest. Speaking at the Asian Achievers Awards at Grosvenor House, he tells Miss Steerpike that the film led to the planned adaptation of his bestselling book Paths of Glory being axed:
‘They’ve got a film out this week called Everest and they not only stole my title – the working title of my film – but the production company dropped the whole thing when they heard there was another Everest film.’
This was in spite of the fact that they had already cast an actor in the lead role. ‘We were making plans for Paths of Glory and Tom Hardy had been chosen to play the lead, the script had been completed,’ he sighs. ‘You know how it is. Five years of work.’
Everest follows the story of the 1996 disaster on the world’s largest mountain which saw eight climbers die. Archer’s book claims that George Mallory, the English explorer, did reach the summit of the mountain in the 1924, before dying on the mountain.
While Archer may be cross about Working Title and Universal pinching his title, he ought to remember that the name Paths of Glory was originally the title of a 1957 film starring Kirk Douglas.