English actress Keira Knightley has joined the cast of a film telling the story of New Zealand climbers killed on Mount Everest.

The accomplished actress is playing Jan Arnold, the wife of Rob Hall, in the 3D film Everest, which is about rival expeditions caught in a blizzard, the Daily Mail in Britain reported.

Jason Clarke, who featured in The Great Gatsby, will play Hall, while other actors include Josh Brolin, John Hawkes and Jake Gyllenhaal.

The film is being shot in Pinewood Studios in England and CineCitta in Rome, with location shooting in England, Nepal and the Italian Alps.

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- AAP