Baltasar Kormákur’s Everest will open the 72nd Venice Film Festival, it was announced today. The Working Title production, based on a true story, documents the journey of two different expeditions challenged beyond their limits by one of the fiercest snowstorms ever encountered by mankind as the climbers will face nearly impossible obstacles as a lifelong obsession becomes a breathtaking struggle for survival.

The Universal Pictures film stars Jason Clarke, Josh Brolin, John Hawkes, Robin Wright, Michael Kelly, Sam Worthington, Keira Knightley, Emily Watson and Jake Gyllenhaal. Working Title powerhouses Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner produced alongside Baltasar Kormákur, Nicky Kentish Barnes,  Brian Oliver and Tyler Thompson.

Universal Pictures and Walden Media present the film in association with Cross Creek Pictures. William Nicholson (Gladiator) and Simon Beaufoy (Slumdog Millionaire) penned the screenplay. The film was shot on location in Nepal on the foothills of Everest, the Italian Alps and at Cinecittà Studios in Rome and Pinewood Studios in the UK.

The film’s stunning visuals wowed Euro exhibs when it was screened for them behind closed doors at CineEurope in Barcelona last week.

Universal will release worldwide. It opens in the U.S. exclusively on Imax 3D and premium-large format 3D screens on September 18. It will be released wide domestically on September 25.  The Italian release is scheduled for September 24.

The Venice Film Festival runs September 2-12.