Joseph Gordon-Levitt Set ‘To Walk the Clouds’ in High Wire Biopic

By February 25, 2014

No, no, Joseph Gordon-Levitt has not signed up for a sequel to the Keanu Reeves-starring winery-set romance A Walk in the Clouds (but, hey, dare to dream), instead the actor will take on a high-flying part in the true-life tale of Philippe Petit in To Walk the Clouds. Robert Zemeckis will direct the film (co-written with Christopher Browne), which traces the adventures of the French high wire artist who quite notably (and quite illegally) crossed between the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers back in 1974.

Deadline describes the film’s plot as such: “the actual tight rope walk, called the ‘artistic crime of the century’– doesn’t occur until the third act of a film, which is one part protagonist chasing a crazy impossible dream, and another part caper pic…Much of the movie is about how Petit, guided by a mentor, managed with a small band of relatives and his girlfriend to carefully plan this, sneaking up to the top of the Towers at night.” That caper bit will apparently be styled as a bit of a heist-styled subplot, centered on how “Petit and his cohorts snuck to the top of the towers and managed to shoot a line across and [got] the rigging ready in time for Petit to shock the world in what is also a love letter to the Twin Towers and a simpler time gone by.”

The film is also reportedly set to be a “3D experiential film that will be done with the spectacle of Avatar, Life of Pi and Gravity.” (Here’s hoping that Zemeckis doesn’t break out any of his terrifying mo-cap for the feature.)

The film’s title echoes the title of Petit’s memoirs, “To Reach the Clouds,” in a charming nod to the man himself.

If Petit’s story sounds sort of familiar, his most famous walk was the subject of the 2008 documentary, Man on Wire. If you want to get caught up on the incredible story, the film is available to watch on Netflix, and you can even check out the film’s trailer below:

To Walk the Clouds is set to start filming in May.

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Kate Erbland
Kate Erbland is a staff writer for movie news and reviews at GeekNation. Her work can also be found at Film School Rejects, ScreenCrush, Vanity Fair, The Dissolve, Cosmopolitan, Bustle, amNewYork, New York Daily News, Dame Magazine, Mental Floss,, MSN Movies, and Boxoffice Magazine. She lives in New York City with two cats, two turtles, one boyfriend, and a frightening number of sensible canvas totes.