Tom Hiddleston and Willem Dafoe to Star in ‘Tenzing’, the True Story of the First Everest Summit


See-Saw Films, the Oscar-winning production company behind The King’s Speech, is preparing to bring the inspiring true story of Sherpa Tenzing Norgay and his historic 1953 ascent of Mount Everest to the big screen. The film, titled Tenzing, will star Tom Hiddleston as Tenzing’s climbing partner, Sir Edmund Hillary, and Willem Dafoe as the British expedition’s leader, Colonel John Hunt. The production is currently conducting a search for the actor who will portray Tenzing Norgay himself.

Tom Hiddleston

Filmmaker Jennifer Peedom, who has cultivated a close relationship with the Sherpa community through her work on the acclaimed documentary Sherpa, secured the exclusive rights to tell Tenzing’s story from his family. She will direct the film from a script by Oscar-nominated screenwriter Luke Davies (Lion).

The film will depict how Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary, both outsiders on the British-led expedition, overcame incredible odds to achieve what was previously thought impossible – reaching the summit of the world’s tallest peak. Tenzing, a native of Tibet, risked everything on his seventh attempt, navigating treacherous politics, perilous weather conditions, and his own deep reverence for the mountain’s sacred status to the Sherpa people. Throughout the journey, he displayed remarkable humor, warmth and generosity towards his fellow climbers.

Tenzing is poised to be one of the most sought-after projects at the upcoming Cannes Film Festival, where Rocket Science will handle international sales alongside See-Saw’s in-house sales division, Cross City Films. UTA Independent Film Group and Cross City Films are jointly representing the U.S. rights. The film is slated to begin production in spring 2025.

Director Jennifer Peedom expressed her excitement and gratitude at the opportunity to bring Tenzing Norgay’s story to life, working with a talented cast and the blessing of Tenzing’s family. See-Saw Films’ Emile Sherman and Iain Canning praised Peedom’s unique qualifications and storytelling abilities. Tenzing’s son, Norbu Tenzing, affirmed his trust in Peedom and eagerness for the world to know his father’s story.

Tom Hiddleston is represented by UTA, Hamilton Hodell, and Johnson Shapiro Slewett & Kole, while Willem Dafoe is represented by WME, The Artist Partnership, and Circle of Confusion.