EXCLUSIVE: Mark Roberts and Ross Jacobson’s 3311 Productions has committed to finance and produce Batso and the Wall, a film that Nat Faxon and Jim Rash will direct about the exploits of Warren “Batso” Harding and specifically his climb up the Dawn Wall of the iconic El Capitan rock formation. Eamon O’Sullivan is writing the script. Ben LeClair (The Lovers) will produce alongside 3311 and Tony Pachella will oversee for 3311 Productions.
Harding was nicknamed Batso partly for his penchant for using a “bat tent” to sleep upright on sheer cliffs. The film tells the true story of the time, at age 47, that Harding sets a course up the iconic El Capitan rock formation, which had previously been deemed impossible. The estimated 10-day climb stretched into a 28-day marathon of grit and determination, turning what began as a farcical exercise into one of the great undisputed rock climbs in the history of the sport.
Set in 1970s among the community of iconoclast climbers that took up semi-permanent residence at Camp 4 in Yosemite National Park, the film aims to explore a subculture with grounded verve reminiscent of such films as Dazed and Confused and American Graffiti.
Faxon and Rash wrote and directed the breakout Sundance film The Way Way Back and shared the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar with Alexander Payne for The Descendants. O’Sullivan’s work includes Yuba, a Western sold to Netflix with Channing Tatum’s Free Association, Roy Lee’s Vertigo Entertainment, and Brooklyn Weaver’s Energy Entertainment producing.
For 3311 Productions, it adds to a slate that includes the Kerem Sanga-directed The Violent Heart and the Chad Hartigan-directed The Fifth Official.
Faxon and Rash are repped by CAA and Stone, Genow. Faxon is managed by Principato-Young and Rash by Primary Wave. O’Sullivan is with UTA, Energy Entertainment, and Stone, Genow.