I like to think Nick Hornby has started adapting novels because filmmakers happen to enjoy his own work — or that’s where my mind goes when Deadline tell us the author of An Education and A Long Way Down (the movie version of which is currently underway) has been contracted to pen Wild, the big-screen, Reese Witherspoon-starring spin on Cheryl Strayed‘s popular memoirs. Back in May, Lisa Cholodenko had become involved as a developer of sorts — which some, like myself, thought was a sign she’d end up directing. With Disney now behind her big Steve Carell film, it’s possible Wild is off the table.
This hire is some good news, though. It turns out Hornby was even offered the job because she likes his work, citing his “innate blend of humanity and humor” as a “perfect match” for this story, which chronicles Strayed’s hike across the Pacific Crest Trail — a 2,663-mile journey from the Mojave Desert to the Washington-Canada border — after both her mother passed and own marriage ended poorly. So, on this trip, she finds herself asking some of the big questions (sorry if that makes you think of the Prometheus screenplay), hoping to figure them out while she’s at it. It’s not like there isn’t plenty of time.
Now we have to see if Hornby‘s strength for dramatic tales and effective character arcs transplants itself to the screen. Witherspoon, being directly involved in Wild, bodes well for him getting the direct pick; in addition to starring, the actress is producing through her company, Pacific Standard, who will work in conjunction with River Road Entertainment. The latter are also financing development, which should truly kick off with a screenwriter now in place.
Does this choice in screenwriter give you a sense of interest in Wild?
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