Emile Hirsch will grace the screen once again in a rock climbing thriller, “In Tandem”. The actor will also write the film, marking the screenwriting debut of the longtime character actor. Darius Shamir (“Midnight Special”) will produce the film and former Academy Award winner Jimmy Chin (“Free Solo”) has signed on as executive producer.
Many actors transition to directing, but few, unlike Hirsch, want to write. That being said, some phenomenal screenwriters started out as actors, including Quentin Tarantino. Tarantino, who directed Hirsch in “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood“, used to rewrite famous monologues and perform them in acting class. Maybe Hirsch learned a thing or two from Tarantino – can you imagine a “Say what again!” level scene in a rock climbing movie?
Also, I’m thrilled rock climbing movies are making a comeback. They died out in the 90’s with “Point Break” and “Mission Impossible 32” but have recently gained popularity due to some seriously awesome documentaries. “Free Solo” and “The Dawn Wall” are the two best, both depicting stories of climbers attempting to send Yosemite routes for the first time. Jimmy Chin directed “Free Solo” and is hopefully advising Hirsch on the actual climbing portion of the film. I love Tom Cruise but the beginning of MI2 is frankly absurd.
The plot of “In Tandem” is still undetermined, although it’s clearly centering around two climbers. Personally, I think Hirsch should focus on the incessant drive of professional rock climbers. They dedicate their entire lives to an underpaid, under-appreciated sport that could kill them every time they strap into a harness. And yet they keep climbing. Their addict-level commitment could lend itself to an interesting character study, and wouldn’t be far off from Hirsch’s portrayal of Christopher McCandless in “Into the Wild”. But I digress.
Here’s my favorite clip from “Free Solo”. The dude is a monster.