Six years ago, director James Marsh and producer Simon Chinn took home the Best Documentary Oscar for their film Man on Wire. The film chronicled the story of Philippe Petit, a French tightrope walker who in 1974 walked between the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center. Now, Oscar-wining director Robert Zemeckis has done what is in hindsight a no-brainer: turn Petit’s story into a movie.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt dons a thick French accent as Petit, with Ben Kinglsey, James Badge Dale, Ben Schwartz, Steve Valentine, Charlotte Le Bon, Caesar Domboy and Benedict Samuel accounting for the films supporting cast. Zemeckis and Christopher Brown penned the script, based on Petit’s memoir, “To Reach the Clouds.” The Walk will premiere at the 53rd New York Film Festival on September 25, opening theatrically October 2.
Twelve people have walked on the moon, but only one man - Philippe Petit (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) - has ever, or will ever, walk in the immense void between the World Trade Center towers. Guided by his real-life mentor, Papa Rudy (Ben Kingsley), and aided by an unlikely band of international recruits, Petit and his gang overcome long odds, betrayals, dissension and countless close calls to conceive and execute their mad plan. Robert Zemeckis, the director of such marvels as Forrest Gump, Cast Away, Back to the Future, Polar Express and Flight, again uses cutting edge technology in the service of an emotional, character-driven story. With innovative photorealistic techniques and IMAX 3D wizardry, The Walk is true big-screen cinema, a chance for moviegoers to viscerally experience the feeling of reaching the clouds. The film, a PG-rated, all-audience entertainment for moviegoers 8 to 80, unlike anything audiences have seen before, is a love letter to Paris and New York City in the 1970s.