Although Sean Penn came close to making The Comedian with Robert De Niro and Kristen Wiig for his follow-up to 2007’s Into the Wild, it looks like his sights are set on making another project — and it’s one oddly similair to his Emile Hirsch-starrer. Variety reports that the director is in negotations with Warner Bros to bring Norman Ollestad‘s memoir to life.
Titled Crazy for the Storm, the film follows a 1979 plane crash where Ollestad was the only survivor out of the pilot, his father and his girlfriend. So, despite both being set in the wilderness, instead of Christopher McCandless‘ willingness to head into the wild (literally), this is a survival story that also ties into a relationship with Ollestad’s father.
There isn’t a role for Penn here, as he’ll stay behind the camera and while I enjoyed the idea of him doing something very different with The Comedian, he’s proved he can handle rugged terrain before. I’d just want this one to stand on its own and not rehash a similar style from his previous, successful effort. Word is that WB also met with many other directors including Children of Men‘s Alfonso Cuaron, but they ultimately stuck with their top choice of Penn.
Check out the full synopsis from Amazon below:
From the age of three, Norman Ollestad was thrust into the world of surfing and competitive downhill skiing by the intense, charismatic father he both idolized and resented. While his friends were riding bikes, playing ball, and going to birthday parties, young Norman was whisked away in pursuit of wild and demanding adventures. Yet it were these exhilarating tests of skill that prepared “Boy Wonder,” as his father called him, to become a fearless champion–and ultimately saved his life.
Flying to a ski championship ceremony in February 1979, the chartered Cessna carrying Norman, his father, his father’s girlfriend, and the pilot crashed into the San Gabriel Mountains and was suspended at 8,200 feet, engulfed in a blizzard. “Dad and I were a team, and he was Superman,” Ollestad writes. But now Norman’s father was dead, and the devastated eleven-year-old had to descend the treacherous, icy mountain alone.
Set amid the spontaneous, uninhibited surf culture of Malibu and Mexico in the late 1970s, this riveting memoir, written in crisp Hemingwayesque prose, recalls Ollestad’s childhood and the magnetic man whose determination and love infuriated and inspired him–and also taught him to overcome the indomitable. As it illuminates the complicated bond between an extraordinary father and his son, Ollestad’s powerful and unforgettable true story offers remarkable insight for us all.
Do you want to see Penn make this his next film?
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