Cliffhanger Remake Finally Has A Writer

Joe Gazzam to scale the screenplay's heights

Cliffhanger Remake Finally Has A Writer

by Owen Williams |
Published on

First announced at Cannes five years ago, it's taken producer Neal Moritz until now to find the first screenwriter for his Cliffhanger remake. You can all screw up your application forms, however, because the vacancy has been filled. Sculpting a new take on the '90s Sylvester Stallone classic will be hotly-tipped newbie Joe Gazzam.

Renny Harlin's original **Cliffhanger **proved that the Die Hard formula needn’t necessarily be restricted to claustrophobic indoor settings, plonking mountain-rescue boy Stallone on the side of a snowy peak. Sly's Gabe Walker was reluctantly trying to foil John Lithgow’s plan to recover $100m stolen from the US treasury and deposited in the Rockies after a mid-air transfer went somewhat awry. There were deaths by gun, gravity, drowning and stalactite. And it wasn't all snow: there were caves too. As a bonus, Lithgow played the villainous ex-US Military Intelligence officer Qualen with a hilariously plummy British accent. "Waw-kah, you resilient bahstud," he said.

Back in 2009, the word on the new version was that it would centre on a group of young climbers, rather than a lone action man in an Aran jumper. We were also told that, while the original was filmed with Italy standing in for the Colorado Rockies, this one would feature "multiple cliff-face locations", possibly indicating some sort of globe-trotting mountain-climbing challenge.

But that's no longer necessarily the case, since part of the delay has been Moritz's hanging on (sorry) for a pitch he particularly liked. According to Deadline, the screenplay gig has been much sought after in Hollywood in recent years, but it was Gazzam's angle - whatever it turns out to be - that got the producer excited.

Gazzam was well-placed, since he was already working with Moritz and his Original Pictures production company on his spec script **Shadow Run{ =nofollow}. Original has a home at Sony, so we can probably expect that studio to keep Cliffhanger 2.0 in-house. As a mountaineering movie it'll face competition from Baltasar Kormakur's **Everest and Doug Liman's developing George Mallory epic, but we'd assume it'll differentiate itself with a more action-packed emphasis.

There's no director or start date yet, but we'll keep you appraised of the new Cliffhanger's journey.

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us