Tom Hiddleston (Loki) starring in the Apple-owned movie Tenzing 

Tenzing Norgay Sherpa with his eldest daughter Pem Pem. Photo from Tashi Sherpa's collection captured by Chandra Bahadur Ale
Tenzing Norgay Sherpa with his eldest daughter Pem Pem. Photo from Tashi Sherpa’s collection captured by Chandra Bahadur Ale

The world is waiting for another addition to the Everest film series Tenzing, which will probably be the biggest hit to this day. 

Oscar-winning producer See-Saw Films and Golden Globe winner Tom Hiddleston are all geared up for their upcoming movie Tenzing. In 2024, Apple won the worldwide rights to this Everest climbing drama at the auction in the Cannes film market.   

Tom Hiddleston (Loki at Marvel Cinematic Universe) is confirmed to be playing Sir Edmund Hillary, a New Zealand-born mountaineer. The search for Tenzing Norgay’s actor is still going on, and we will probably hear a big name soon. Meanwhile, four times Golden Globe nominee Willem Dafoe has been announced to play by Colonel John Hunt, an English expedition leader.  

Based on the life story of Tenzing Norgay Sherpa

Photo from Tashi Sherpa's collection captured by Chandra Bahadur Ale
Photo from Tashi Sherpa’s collection captured by Chandra Bahadur Ale

Tenzing is Based on the life story of Nepal-born mountaineer Tenzing Norgay Sherpa, who successfully claimed Mount Everest alongside Sir Edmund Hillary on May 29, 1953, changing the course of mountain climbing forever.  

Australian filmmaker Jennifer Peedom, known for her previous documentaries including Sherpa, Miracle on Everest, and Mountain, has been entrusted by Norgay’s family to portray his story. She has exclusive rights to Norgay’s story and will produce as well as direct Tenzing. Other producers are Liz Watts, Iain Canning, Emile Sherman, and Luke Davies. The script comes from the Oscar-nominated Luke Davies himself, so the movie is surely expected to be mind-blowing. 

The team is working alongside Norgay’s son Norbu Tenzing himself, who now lives in San Francisco, California. The family is excited to show the story of their hero on a big screen.  

Norbu Tenzing said to the media, “Jennifer already knows our community well and understands the deeply rooted value of our culture and the mountains. She is the only person we could have trusted to tell the story of my father, Tenzing Norgay. We can’t wait to show his bravery to the whole world.” 

Tenzing is, in fact, the second movie based on the pioneers of Everestnzi Climbers. The first movie, The Conquest of Everest(1953), also based on Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norway, was more focused on Hillary’s climbing history. See-Saw Film Producers, who have already released Sherpa in 2015 (based on the life of Phurba Tashi, who had climbed Everest 21 times), know what they are investing in.  

The team has confirmed the production of the movie in early 2024. The drama is expected to start full production by Spring 2025 but the release date is yet to be confirmed. But no doubt, Tenzing will be worth the wait.  

Tenzing: Tibetian, Nepali, or an Indian? 

Even after decades of Everest conquering, the birth of Tenzing is still controversial. Popular newspaper Deadline writes that Tenzing was Tibetan-born, and many international media seem to be supporting this fact. 

However, through his autobiography and an interview with All India Radio in 1985, Tenzing confirmed that he was born and raised in the Thame village of Khumbu, Nepal. He made it clear that he was born to Tibetan parents, father Ghang La Mingma and mother Dokmo Kinzom, who came to Nepal before Tenzing’s birth.  

However, later, a book named “Touching My Father’s Soul”, co-written by Tenzing’s son Jamling Tenzing Norgay, claimed that his father was born in Kharta village of Tibet, where he spent a few years of his life before coming to Nepal.  

Furthermore, Tenzing lived in Darjeeling for a while and eventually got Indian citizenship later in life. That is why he is often called a Nepali-Indian Sherpa mountaineer.  

Hope once the movie is out, we will have a clearer look inside the life of Tenzing and his birthplace. 

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Neupane is a travel blogger and news writer from Nepal.

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