24 Feb – Celebrating the 25th year since the team of ten planted the Jalur Gemilang on top of Mount Everest, it was revealed that Fullmoon Pictures Sdn Bhd have launched a RM150 million media franchise to commemorate the event.
Dubbed "The SUMMIT-97", the media franchise will chronicle the arduous journey made by the national climbers in reaching the top of the world's highest mountain, and will be spread across a variety of media.
This includes books, documentaries, animation films, original soundtracks, behind-the-scenes footage, a virtual reality game application along with a feature film titled "Peak of Heaven" - which will feature international talents as well including legendary Indian composer AR Rahman and Hollywood-based Malaysian actor, Henry Golding
Speaking about the big project, Fullmoon co-founder Izzat Hazim stated that the project was established in hopes of showing viewers that what the national climbers did and achieved was no easy feat.
"Make no mistake, the climb to Mount Everest in 1997 is as deadly as its reputation. We were only able to fully understand their struggles during our research on this heroic story which includes interviews, articles, and documentaries, it was truly an eye-opener to us," he said.
The news was welcomed with open hands by the Malaysia-Everest 97 team, including climber Aimi Zairin Mohamed, who stated that he is grateful that their efforts were being acknowledged once more.
"May 23 is always on my calendar. It is the anniversary of when we planted the Jalur Gemilang on top of Mount Everest," said Aimi, as one of the youngest members of the team. "So, in May every year, I would have a small celebration over dinner with my wife and son and I would share the stories over and over again to the point I think they've memorised it."
On the other hand, Datuk M. Magendran, the first Malaysian to reach the summit, stated that he had never thought that a feature film would be done about them.
"I was overwhelmed because before this, the most we could do is come up with a book for our 25th anniversary but never did I imagine there's a team working towards making a movie out of the 1997 Malaysia-Everest Expedition. I think it's something out of the box and looking at the current condition of our nation, I think a multiracial success story is what Malaysia needs at the moment," he said.