The Walk trailer

Robert Zemeckis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt are telling their own version of the event that made front-page news in the 1970s, when Philippe Petit and a team of conspirators strung a wire between the World Trade Center towers in New York City so that Petit could perform a high-wire walk hundreds of feet above ground. The story has all the tension and planning of a heist, and the daredevil spectacle of the most insane physical feats, but the real idea underlying Petit’s act was artistic.

Sure, there’s a documentary about the event — Man on Wire, which is a great film, as a matter of fact — but The Walk aims to use effects wizardry and IMAX scale to put audiences right up on the wire with Petit. The first full trailer is now available; check out this new The Walk trailer below.

I don’t know if there’s any chance an actor can put on a French accent and not sound like he’s making a joke. There’s a lot more to a performance than the accent, so it may be that, five minutes into The Walk, JGL’s accent will sound perfectly natural. But I had to stifle a chuckle or two watching this trailer.

There’s also the fact that Man on Wire told this story so perfectly that watching this exaggerated and obviously computer-generated footage takes a little getting used to. Sure, it has to be CG — those towers no longer exist, for one — but that’s another hurdle.

All that said, I get chills from those last shots. Vertigo is a primal feeling, and I expect Zemeckis to tap into that as he shows us Petit’s walk in the clouds.

Trailer via Sony. The Walk opens on October 2.

Twelve people have walked on the moon, but only one man – Philippe Petit (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) – has ever, or will ever, walk in the immense void between the World Trade Center towers. Guided by his real-life mentor, Papa Rudy (Ben Kingsley), and aided by an unlikely band of international recruits, Petit and his gang overcome long odds, betrayals, dissension and countless close calls to conceive and execute their mad plan. Robert Zemeckis, the director of such marvels as Forrest Gump, Cast Away, Back to the Future, Polar Express and Flight, again uses cutting edge technology in the service of an emotional, character-driven story. With innovative photorealistic techniques and IMAX 3D wizardry, The Walk is true big-screen cinema, a chance for moviegoers to viscerally experience the feeling of reaching the clouds. The film, a PG-rated, all-audience entertainment for moviegoers 8 to 80, unlike anything audiences have seen before, is a love letter to Paris and New York City in the 1970s, but most of all, to the Towers of the World Trade Center.

Cool Posts From Around the Web: