Sony Pictures has unveiled a series of clips from director Robert Zemeckis’ true story drama The Walk, and they promise a death-defying experience that puts the viewer right in the middle of the action. The film stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Philippe Petit and revolves around the planning and execution of his daring, illegal 1974 tightrope walk between the twin towers of the World Trade Center. If the story sounds familiar, you’ve probably seen the documentary Man on Wire that recounted Petit’s stunt. The task set for The Walk is for Zemeckis to add something to Petit’s story that wasn’t already sufficiently covered by Man on Wire, and it appears he plans on accomplishing that by doing what he does best—using cutting-edge technology in unique ways.
While Zemeckis has seemingly left his sojourn into performance-capture films behind, The Walk is actually somewhat of a blend between the two. Zemeckis shot much of the movie on a soundstage surrounded by greenscreen, which makes the photorealism of these clips all the more impressive. His main goal, it would appear, is to immerse viewers in Petit’s stunt in full IMAX 3D glory, and for someone fearful of heights (like myself), this should get interesting.
Watch the clips below, followed by some new images. The film opens exclusively in IMAX on October 2nd before expanding wide on October 9th. Charlotte Le Bon, Ben Kingsley, James Badge Dale, Ben Schwartz, Clément Sibony and César Domboy also star.
Here’s the official synopsis for The Walk:
Twelve people have walked on the moon, but only one man has ever, or will ever, walk in the immense void between the World Trade Center towers. Guided by his real-life mentor, Papa Rudy (Ben Kingsley), and aided by an unlikely band of international recruits, Petit and his gang overcome long odds, betrayals, dissension and countless close calls to conceive and execute their mad plan. Robert Zemeckis, the director of such marvels as Forrest Gump, Cast Away, Back to the Future, Polar Express and Flight, again uses cutting edge technology in the service of an emotional, character-driven story. With innovative photorealistic techniques and IMAX 3D wizardry, The Walk is true big-screen cinema, a chance for moviegoers to viscerally experience the feeling of reaching the clouds. The film is a love letter to Paris and New York City in the 1970s, but most of all, to the Towers of the World Trade Center.