Brandon Lee Tenney to Adapt 'Dead Mountain' for Straight Up Films

July 14, 2015
Source: Deadline

Dead Mountain

Congrats! Production company Straight Up Films (of Transcendence, Jane Got a Gun) will be adapting the nonfiction bestseller Dead Mountain: The Untold True Story Of The Dyatlov Pass Incident by Donnie Eichar, and they've picked up the rights to turn it into a feature film. Attached to write the script is Brandon Lee Tenney, a name you may recognize as he wrote for this site for many years. Brandon is a friend of mine and wrote many articles and reviews for us (find his posts here) before transitioning into a screenwriting career. This is his first major deal as a screenwriter and I'm proud to be able to post this news.

Tenney is adapting the book Dead Mountain, which has become a bestseller since its initial release in late 2013. It tells the true story from the 1950s of nine experienced hikers in the Russian Ural Mountains who were found mysteriously dead. From Amazon: "Eerie aspects of the incident—unexplained violent injuries, signs that they cut open and fled the tent without proper clothing or shoes, a strange final photograph taken by one of the hikers, and elevated levels of radiation found on some of their clothes—have led to decades of speculation over what really happened." I'm getting chills just reading about this. My first thought is that this might turn out a bit like The Thing, investigating the mystery of what really happened in the cold and snow. The script will focus on the "last days before the hikers died and on the bonds formed between them."

This actually sounds like it's a really interesting story anyway, and I'm looking forward to seeing what kind of ideas and speculation Brandon touches upon in the script. Eichar, who wrote the book, apparently spent half a decade researching the incident, including traveling to the location and following in their steps and interviewing friends and family. We'll keep an eye on development and report on any news about a director. In the meantime, a big congrats to Brandon. Wishing him luck on this project and whatever else comes next.

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Reader Feedback - 8 Comments


Whoa!!! Amazing news! I've been a long time reader of (besides Empire) I always refer to this site for film news. I remember reading some of Brandon's work. Excellent to hear he's onto screenwriting and this sounds like an excellent project. Rock on.

Joker's hideout on Jul 14, 2015


Sue they already did a spin on this film a few years ago called Devil's pass which was not to shabby for a low budget film, worth a watch.

LV 426 on Jul 14, 2015


Very cool, Alex, for you and your friend. I can relate. A good friend of mine won an Oscar for one of his scripts. I read his scripts for years and the one that won him the Oscar like five years before he was finally able to sell it. Yea, it just sat on the shelf collecting dust after it first went around town and nobody wanted it. Then, five years later a hot young agent took it on and the rest was history. I was happy to see my friend find and enjoy that kind of success after so many years. Good luck to your friend and glad to see you enjoying his current success. Good stuff, man.

Bo on Jul 14, 2015


I want to see more of these expedition films! Wasn't there an adaptation to THE LOST CITY OF Z coming? I loved that book. This sounds exciting.

DAVIDPD on Jul 14, 2015


watch "congo" - (on blu ray if possible) .....same type of story - it's great.

dan on Jul 15, 2015


C'mon SON! I saw CONGO in theaters. "Ugly gorillas, ugly, go away!"

DAVIDPD on Jul 16, 2015


LV called it, Devil's Pass introduced me to this story. Randomly picked it on Netflix, cool flick. It's a really interesting and creepy story, I'll keep an eye out for this one.

grimjob on Jul 14, 2015


yea - I wasn't expecting much from devils pass - but it was a fun watch.

dan on Jul 15, 2015

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