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Director Robert Zemeckis and actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt are putting together a biopic on tightrope walker Philippe Petit, who walked across the World Trade Center Twin Towers in 1974. The cast for the project has grown, with Ben Kingsley, Charlotte Le Bon and James Badge Dale joining.
The film is based on Petit’s memoir To Reach The Clouds and is set up at Sony’s TriStar label under Tom Rothman. It is expected to be a spectacle on the level of Avatar or Life of Pi, but has an added heist feel, since part of the story is on how Petit and his group snuck up to the towers to set up his tightrope walk. Gordon-Levitt is playing Petit, who was the subject of the Oscar-winning documentary Man on Wire.
Deadline reported that Le Bon will play Annie, Petit’s girlfriend. She recently made Yves Saint Laurent and is working with Helen Mirren on Disney’s Hundred Foot Journey.
Variety has also confirmed that Kingsley and Badge Dale have joined the cast. It’s not clear what their roles are.
Zemeckis co-wrote with Christopher Browne and will produce with ImageMovers partners Jack Rapke and Steve Starkey. He does plan to make the film in 3D. He recently directed Flight with Denzel Washington.