Jon Krakauer’s best-selling book Into Thin Air, based on the Mount Everest disaster in 1996, was very controversial on release.
In the book, Krakauer details his push to reach the summit of the mountain, concluding that safety is sometimes compromised in order to reach the summit before a rival tourist group does. Krakauer's guide, Rob Hall, was one of eight people to die that day.
Everest, the Jake Gyllenhaal starring Hollywood film, is based on the same events, yet is not based on the book, and the factual basis of it has now been questioned by the author.
“It’s total bull,” he said of Everest to LA Times. “Anyone who goes to that movie and wants a fact-based account should read ‘Into Thin Air’”
His book was a best-seller and the film rights were bought by Sony Pictures in 1997, who turned it into a TV movie.
“People told me, ‘Movies never get made.Take the money. What do you have to lose? 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.”
The director went on to respond, saying that he had access to multiple books and all the radio calls that went on that day: “The writers and I tried to look at things from a fair point of a view without choosing sides.”
Everest’s all-star cast includes Keira Knightley, Robin Wright, Josh Brolin, Emily Watson and Sam Worthington, and was shot on location.