Back in February, we reported that Sean Penn had been signed to write and direct a screen version of Into the Wild, Jon Krakauer's book about Christopher McCandless. In 1992, after graduating from college, McCandless left his life completely behind and hitchhiked to Alaska, where he planned to "live in the wilderness and return to nature." Four months later, he was dead of starvation, but he left a diary and letters behind, so Krakauer was able to get a sense of what McCandless' thought and experienced before his death.

According The Hollywood Reporter, Penn has finished writing the script, and his cast is expanding, as well. When the project was announced, Alpha Dog and Lords of Dogtown star Emile Hirsch was already on board to play the lead role; recent reports indicate that he'll be joined in the movie by Catherine Keener and Vince Vaughn. Keener will play a woman who picked McCandless up while he was hitchhiking, and "[took] him in as a surrogate son," while Vaughn will be a tow-truck driver acquaintance of his. (Could someone who has read the book recently elaborate on Vaughn's character? is it a major role, or just a guy who wanders by?)

There's still no word on when production will begin; the film is due on in 2007.
categories Movies, Cinematical