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March 10, 2012   •  Category: "Wild", Producing1 Comment

In the press release about Reese’s new production company Pacific Standard, it mentioned a project she has just purchased, entitled Wild. Below is some more information about the story and potential film:

Wild, Cheryl Strayed’s memoir of her eleven-hundred-mile hike along the Pacific Crest Trail, experienced solo, hits shelves later this month. Hollywood darling Reese Witherspoon, however, isn’t waiting until then to get her hands on the project. The Oscar-winning actress has purchased the film rights to the book and will also reportedly star in the film, taking on the role of author Strayed.

Following the death of her mother and divorce from her husband, Strayed acts on a percolating impulse to pack up her life, invest in a backpack we come to know as “Monster,” lace up her (ill-fitting) hiking boots, and begin a solitary journey of a lifetime: one thousand, one hundred miles of challenging terrain, traversing drastic spikes and dips in altitude, treacherous snow cover, days that rise above one hundred degrees and nights that fall below freezing. Making the journey even more exciting (for us, anyway) is Strayed’s naive financial plan: a twenty-dollar bill packed into her supply boxes, sent to various stops along the way, often at post offices hundreds of miles apart. Making the journey more exciting for both the reader and Strayed — and, now, ultimately the viewer — is the cast of characters she meets along the way and the kindness and quirkiness they exhibit. What results is a catharsis unlike any other. Strayed is no wimp, and as she invites readers along on her trip, she also invites them along on her transformation from heartbroken and heroin-dabbling lost soul to a woman full of strength and confidence, wisdom and compassion.

Witherspoon will launch the project beneath the banner of her brand-new production company, Pacific Standard. Her partner in Pacific Standard is Bruna Papandrea, who has such films as “Milk,” “All Good Things,” and “Smart People” under her belt. Of Witherspoon taking the project past producing to star in the film, Strayed told The Oregonian, ”I couldn’t be more thrilled. She’s such a wonderful combination of smart and charming. I really feel like she saw my vision and is the perfect person to bring it to the screen.” We think it will be exciting to see Witherspoon take on a grittier role. In the book, Strayed struggles. She goes for days and weeks on end without a shower. Her hair turns the consistency of dry hay. Her feet are bloodied and blistered. We know that Witherspoon has the talent, but even on the occasions we’ve seen her step away from the typical rom-coms such as “Just Like Heaven” and “Legally Blonde” into the shoes of June Carter (“Walk the Line”) and Becky Sharp (“Vanity Fair”), she’s still kept a certain air of polish and prettiness. Wild offers the ideal opportunity for Witherspoon to get her hands — literally and figuratively — dirty.


Reese Witherspoon buys movie rights to Cheryl Strayed’s memoir

Actress Reese Witherspoon has purchased the movie rights to Portland writer Cheryl Strayed’s forthcoming memoir “Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail” and plans to star in it as Strayed.

The deal, negotiated by Strayed’s film agent, Shari Smiley, has been in the works for several months and was revealed Thursday as part of an announcement about Witherspoon’s new production company, Pacific Standard. Witherspoon, who won an Academy Award for “Walk the Line,” was attracted to Strayed’s story of hiking a portion of the Pacific Crest Trail alone following a divorce and the death of her mother. Witherspoon read an advance copy of “Wild” (the book will be released March 20) and talked to Strayed for an hour about it.

“I couldn’t be more thrilled,” Strayed said. “She’s such a wonderful combination of smart and charming. I really feel like she saw my vision and is the perfect person to bring it to the screen. If a genie gave me three wishes about who would play the part, she would be my first wish.”

It’s been a busy few months for Strayed. On Valentine’s Day she revealed she was Dear Sugar, an online advice columnist for The Rumpus. The column is popular and the revelation caused a sensation; Strayed said she received 6,000 emails in the first five days after the announcement and about half of them were thank yous. She continues to write Dear Sugar while preparing for a book tour for “Wild” and is relieved that her two big secrets — the Witherspoon announcement and her identity as Dear Sugar — are out.

“I felt like I was walking around like a bottle of Champagne that somebody had shaken up,” Strayed said.

Comment by Maria on Mar. 10, 2012

The story sounds really interesting! I’d like to read the memoir/watch the film!

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