Netflix has acquired the international distribution rights to the animated movie The Summit of the Gods, based on the late Jiro Taniguchi's manga adaptation of the novel by Baka Yumemakura.
This French/Luxembourgian 2D-animated film, directed by Patrick Imbert (director of two segments of The Big Bad Fox And Other Tales, animation director for the Oscar-nominated Ernest and Celestine) and written by Magali Pouzol, Imbert and Jean-Charles Ostorero, will be available to stream in all territories except for France, Benelux, China, Japan and Korea on November 30. In advance of the streaming release, Netflix will give The Summit of the Gods a limited theatrical release in the United States starting November 24, followed shortly thereafter by a United Kingdom release on November 26.
The Summit of the Gods tells the story of a Japanese reporter living in Kathmandu named Fukamachi, who discovers a camera supposedly belonging to George Mallory and Andrew Irvine, who died climbing Mount Everest on June 8, 1924. This discovery leads Fukumachi to enter the obsessive and dangerous world of mountain climbers. Yumemakura's novel was published in 1998, with Taniguchi's five-volume manga adaptation serialized in Business Jump from 2000 to 2003. A Japanese live-action film adaptation titled Everest: The Summit of the Gods was released in 2016, a year before Jiro Taniguchi's death.
Taniguchi drew inspiration from French comics in his manga art and he was, in turn, celebrated in France, being knighted a Chevalier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 2011 and commissioned to write a manga for the Louvre, Guardians of the Louvre, in 2014. In a Work in Progress presentation for The Summit of the Gods film at the 2020 Annecy International Animation Film Festival, Imbert and his animation team paid tribute to Taniguchi and discussed the influence of other Japanese anime and manga artists on the film adaptation's style, including Satoshi Kon.
The Summit of the Gods had its world premiere in the Cinema de la Plage section at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival, where it received positive reviews; Alex Billington of FirstShowing.net declared it "an instant personal favorite" and "one of the best mountain climbing movies I have ever seen." The movie will be released theatrically in France on September 22. With Netflix giving the movie its international release in the midst of awards season, it seems likely The Summit of the Gods could be making a serious push for the Best Animated Feature Oscar.