After letting other people adapt his work for a while, novelist Nick Hornby switched sides a few years ago and began working on films based on novels he didn’t pen himself, including An Education and the upcoming Brooklyn. He’s also now adapting Cheryl Strayed’s memoir Wild for Reese Witherspoon to produce and star in.
Wild finds Strayed as a woman traumatised by the death of her mother and the breakdown of her marriage. Looking to find a way to fight waves of unhappiness, she decided to take on an impulsive challenge: an 1100-mile solo hike along the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mohave Desert to Washington State.
Though she had almost no experience in such a big hiking attempt, she found the mission a life-changer. "I loved Cheryl Strayed’s memoir. It’s moving, funny, painful and brave, and the moment I’d finished it I wanted someone to let me have a go at adapting it, because it was clear to me that it could make a wonderful movie,” says Hornby in a statement picked up by Deadline. “I’m thrilled to be given the chance; the fact that this chance was given to me by Reese Witherspoon, a great actress who feels exactly the same way about the book as I do, makes this project all the more exciting.”
Witherspoon also seems happy with the choice: “Nick’s innate blend of humanity and humour are a perfect match for Cheryl’s raw emotional memoir.” “I look forward to collaborating with both of these talented writers to create a film full of honesty, adventure and self discovery.
It’s just one of several projects that Witherspoon is developing, and there’s no director attached yet. So this one will have to wander through the woods for a while before it reaches the screen. In the meantime, we recommend reading either this book or Bill Bryson's A Walk In The Woods if you get some hard-to-satisfy wanderlust for the great outdoors.