I unabashedly love Cliffhanger in the way that you love movies from when you were 10 years old and probably haven’t revisited them since. Sometimes nostalgia is a more powerful thing than the thing itself. But we’ll see if nostalgia is a factor for audiences interested in the planned reboot of the 1993 thriller starring Sylvester Stallone as an experienced mountain climber with a tragic past who finds himself caught up in a high-stakes heist gone wrong. Or, perhaps the fact that the reboot will be a female-led story with critically acclaimed director Ana Lily Amirpour (A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night) at the helm will be a stronger play for contemporary audiences.
Rocket Science announced today they have acquired the rights to Cliffhanger, which they will produce alongside Neal Moritz’s Original Film (the billion-dollar The Fast and the Furious franchise). The female-led reboot of the 1993 classic will be directed by Amirpour, based on a script by Sascha Penn (Creed II). Casting is currently underway for a female lead to headline an ensemble cast, with Jason Momoa (Aquaman, Game of Thrones) in talks for a cameo. (If you’re a fan of the original film, you can probably guess just what that role will be.)
Here’s what Amirpour had to say:
“I am very excited to partner with Original Films and Rocket Science, who share my passion for the character-driven high-adrenalin survival movie; one of my favorite genres. We are setting out to create a thrill-ride on the mountain which taps into the primal side of an action movie, where you see what a person is capable of doing to survive in the most extreme situations, pushed to the limits. Add to that some high-stakes espionage and a badass female mountain climber as the lead and it becomes a truly epic reinvention of what made the original Cliffhanger movie so fun and so thrilling.”
Moritz also commented:
“I’ve been wanting to re-make this adrenaline-filled survival thriller with a strong female protagonist – both in front of and behind the camera – for some time. The elements came together with Ana Lily and Rocket Science and we look forward to gathering the rest of the pieces. I’ve always wanted to make the movies I want to see — big at their core with characters which connect to the audience while simultaneously encouraging them to leave their house and go to a theater. Cliffhanger is just that, in what we hope will be the first of an entirely new franchise.”
Moritz and Toby Jaffe will produce under their Original Film banner alongside Thorsten Schumacher and partner Lars Sylvest for Rocket Science, who will also finance. Rocket Science acquired the rights to Cliffhanger from StudioCanal and will be handling foreign sales, commencing in Cannes. CAA Media Finance initially brokered the deal between Rocket Science and StudioCanal. It will continue to represent North American and Chinese rights.