'Miss Bala' Director Heads to 'The Mountain Between Us' Adaptation
One of my favorite films from Cannes Film Festival last year that unfortunately did not break out of the fest was Miss Bala, from Mexican filmmaker Gerardo Naranjo, an intense and riveting thriller about a girl caught up in the Mexican drug wars. It's damn good, I highly recommend seeing it. Good news to report, as Deadline says that Fox is negotiating a deal with Naranjo to direct an upcoming adaptation of the novel The Mountain Between Us, written by Charles Martin. This definitely seems inspired by the recent success of The Grey, as it's about more survivors of a plane crash in a snowy area, but this time it's a survival romance.
Here's how it all starts via the synopsis for Charles Martin's book, first published in 2010, from Amazon.
On a stormy winter night, two strangers wait for a flight at the Salt Lake City airport. Ashley Knox is an attractive, successful writer, who is flying East for her much anticipated wedding. Dr. Ben Payne has just wrapped up a medical conference and is also eager to get back East for a slate of surgeries he has scheduled for the following day. When the last outgoing flight is cancelled due to a broken de-icer and a forthcoming storm, Ben finds a charter plane that can take him around the storm and drop him in Denver to catch a connection. And when the pilot says the single engine prop plane can fit one more, if barely, Ben offers the seat to Ashley knowing that she needs to get back just as urgently. And then the unthinkable happens. The pilot has a heart attack mid-flight and the plane crashes into the High Uintas Wilderness-- one of the largest stretches of harsh and remote land in the United States.
The adaptation is being developed by 20th Century Fox and Chernin Entertainment, with J. Mills Goodloe (A Gentleman's Game, Pride, Adaline) writing the screenplay. I'm now following Gerardo Naranjo closely because I was impressed by Miss Bala so much (my Cannes review) and I think he's definitely got a career ahead of him. It was his fourth film following I'm Going to Explode, Drama/Mex and Malachance. Mountain is his first project lined up after Bala. I'm curious to see how he handles this story in the wake of The Grey, and if it'll be more intimate over realistic. Though based on his style from Miss Bala, this might be as intense and incredible as that film, but we'll have to wait to see. We'll keep you updated on any news.