When I saw the preview for this upcoming doc on the (no doubt) amazing high wire artist Philippe Petit who crossed the 140-foot gap between the 104-floor Twin Towers in 1974 with nothing but a steel cable, I was compelled to find out more about this story without having to wait for the film to release. What I found: this is a pretty interesting story, it seems — a lot more interesting than the trailer lets on, in fact.
Even more intriguing is the Wikipedia entry on this guy — still alive — unlike the trailer seemed to insinuate. The wiki article details only some of the planning and practice during the six year period Petit prepared for the act. It also seems once he was about halfway between the two towers (around 70 feet), he decided to do a few performances. 45 minutes worth, that is.
The last of which, consisted of him literally running back out to the middle of the wire when he spotted a cop on the roof waiting for him. When threatened with the arrival of a helicopter, he finally gave himself up. All charges were dropped and he was also honored with a lifetime pass to the Twin Towers observation deck! Go figure.
When asked why he did it, he apparently said “When I see three oranges; I juggle, when I see two towers, I walk.”