Joseph Gordon-Levitt Walks a Dangerous Line in Trailer for ‘The Walk’

Robert Zemeckis's latest film dramatizes the death-defying tightrope walk between the World Trade Center towers in 1974.

William Bibbianiby William Bibbiani

We’ve heard about walking a fine line before, but this is ridiculous: on August 7, 1974, a Frenchman named Philippe Petit attached a wire between the World Trade Center towers, and walked between them. This was not a publicity stunt. He wasn’t supposed to be up there, and he easily could have died. 

Now his story has been dramatized in The Walk, the latest film from Robert Zemeckis (Forrest Gump). Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars as Philippe Petit, and the first trailer has just debuted online. Zemeckis appears to have approached Petit’s story with a heist movie mentality, and the overwhelming sense of scale the tightrope walker must have experienced is on full display already.

But perhaps the most brazen moment in this trailer for The Walk is when it claims Philippe Petit’s story is “unlike anything you’ve seen before,” even though these events have been captured on film once before. The 2008 documentary Man on Wire, directed by James Marsh (The Theory of Everything), even won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature in 2009. And that movie was pretty damned incredible, non?

The Walk, directed by Robert Zemeckis and starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, James Badge Dale, Ben Schwartz, Charlotte Le Bon, Clément Sibony, César Domboy and Sir Ben Kingsley, opens in theaters on October 2, 2015. The film will also be the opening night selection at the 53rd Annual New York Film Festival in September.


William Bibbiani is the editor of CraveOnline’s Film Channel and the host of The B-Movies Podcast. Follow him on Twitter at @WilliamBibbiani.