The adaptation of Bill Bryson’s comic memoir A Walk In The Woods has bounced around like a problem child for a while now. Directors have either been attached (like Barry Levinson and Richard Linklater) or approached (such as Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton), but none have stuck. Earlier this year it appeared that the project’s shepherd and star, Robert Redford, would end up doing the job himself. Now, though, Borat and Bruno man Larry Charles is taking on the challenge.
With a script by Michael Arndt, the story will follow an aging travel writer (Redford) who takes it upon himself to hike the 2,000-mile Appalachian Trail. Along for the journey is a long-estranged high school friend (Nick Nolte) he’s been avoiding for years, and the two men don't exactly make for easy travelling companions.
Charles is a great call to handle the film, and released a typically witty statement that Deadline snapped up. “Growing up in the wilds of Brooklyn, you can see why I was the natural choice to direct A Walk In The Woods,” he says. “I didn’t see a tree till I was 27. I’ve pitched a lot of projects, but I’ve never pitched a tent. But A Walk In The Woods is not merely about a hike. It is an epic, intense, absurd journey through our collective past, present and future. A journey outward and inward. A journey into darkness but also into the light. And I am honoured and humbled to take that walk with Robert Redford and Nick Nolte. Two true bonafide icons of American cinema. Does anyone have bug spray?”
With a director finally seemingly set in stone and Nolte an appropriate sounding travel companion to get on Redford's wick, the film should be shooting in March when the snow starts to clear in the mountains. If you haven't already read Bryson's book, we highly recommend it and pretty much guarantee you'll be giggling aloud by about page 15. Meanwhile, Robert Redford will next appear onscreen in All Is Lost, which hits UK cinemas on December 26.