Jon Krakauer's Into the Wild is one of the books that you just had a feeling would show up on the big screen someday. Really, it's such a fascinating, tragic story with an incredibly broad audience, that one wonders why the movie wasn't made years ago. The book is a nonfiction examination of the life, death, and motivation of Christopher McCandless who, upon graduating from college, left his life behind and headed to Alaska to "live in the wilderness and return to nature." Four months later, he died of starvation, leaving behind a diary, along with letters and notes. Though Krakauer's book is about much more than McCandless himself, his story is just the sort of thing that Hollywood seems to love.

And now, finally, the movie is coming - and it's not being made by a hack. A guy named Sean Penn (who hasn't directed a feature since The Pledge, five years ago) has signed on to write and direct the film for Paramount Classics. The last time Penn worked from his own screenplay was in 1995, when he wrote and directed The Crossing Guard, which starred Jack Nicholson as a grief-stricken, murderous alcoholic. Alpha Dog and Lords of Dogtown star Emile Hirsch is set to play McCandless; there is no word yet on when production will begin.
categories Movies, Cinematical