Rocket Science announced today they have acquired the rights to Cliffhanger, which they will produce alongside Neal Moritz’s Original Film (The Fast and the Furious franchise). The female-led reboot of the 1993 classic will be directed by Ana Lily Amirpour (A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, The Bad Batch) and based on a script by Sascha Penn (Creed II, C1:34). 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.
The 1993 original film was directed by Renny Harlin and stars Sylvester Stallone, Janine Turner, John Lithgow, and Michael Rooker. The movie earned $255 million worldwide on a budget of $70 million.
Neal 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.
Director Ana Lily Amirpour said: “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.”
Neal Moritz 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.”
Amirpour wrote and directed the critically-acclaimed A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night and The Bad Batch, which starred Jason Momoa and Suki Waterhouse and won the Special Jury Prize at the Venice Film Festival. Amirpour is also set to direct the Kate Hudson starrer Blood Moon, produced by John Lesher, with principal photography beginning in New Orleans next month, with Rocket Science handling foreign sales.