Tom Hiddleston will play Sir Edmund Hillary in 'Tenzing'.

The 'Night Manager' actor will star alongside Willem Dafoe, who will play English expedition leader Colonel John Hunt in See-Saw Films' upcoming biopic of Sherpa Tenzing Norgay, the Nepalese-Indian mountaineer who became one of the first men to stand on the top of the world when the group summited Mount Everest in 1953.

A search is currently underway for an actor to take on the title role of the mountaineer, who had made six previous attempts to scale Everest before the historical 1953 effort.

Jennifer Peedom is making the movie after landing the exclusive rights to tell Tenzing's story via his family, and has a close relationship with the Sherpa community thanks to her acclaimed documentary, 'Sherpa'.

She said in a statement: “I could not be more thrilled to be bringing Tenzing Norgay’s story to the screen. I’ve been working towards this film my whole career, and I’m incredibly grateful to Tenzing’s family for entrusting me with it. I am excited to work with See-Saw Films and our amazing cast to bring this story to life.

"Tom Hiddleston and Willem Dafoe are two of the most generous and talented actors in the business, so pairing them with our brilliant Himalayan cast is going to be electric. I have no doubt this film will resonate widely. We all have our own mountains to climb, and this film shows us what human beings are truly capable of."

Norbu Tenzing, son of Tenzing Norgay, added: “Jen is somebody who has earned the respect of our people, understands the community, and is deeply immersed in our culture.

"She’s a great human being and someone that we trust, and she has had a lifelong interest in the story of my father Tenzing Norgay. I am delighted that she has taken on this project and can’t wait for the world to see who my father was.”

'Lion' scribe Luke Davies is penning the script, and both he and Jennifer will serve as producers alongside See-Saw Films' Liz Watts, Emile Sherman and Iain Canning.

Producers Emile and Iain said: “We are so excited to embark on this exhilarating ascent led by one of the most inspirational directors we’ve encountered, Jennifer Peedom. Her award-winning experience in the world of high-altitude filmmaking, alongside her unique relationship with the Sherpa community and her masterful storytelling skills make her the perfect director for this film.”