By Simon Dang | Indiewire February 7, 2011 at 2:23AM
Veteran actor Robert Redford is reportedly being lined up to star in adventurer Nicolas Vanier's next directorial effort, an adaptation of his own 2004 novel "L'or sous la neige," translated as "Gold In The Snow."
According to leParisien, while things are not fully finalized, Redford is evidently set to play an old trapper who helps the young American protagonist in his search for gold in the rivers of Alaska. That particular role hasn't been cast as of yet -- although three well-known actors are said to be in contention -- but Vanier has apparently written to his idol Redford about it, with things seemingly panning out well if these statements are anything to go by. The role would be Redford's first acting gig since 2007's "Lions For Lambs," which he also directed, and he also has his period courtroom drama "The Conspirator" due to hit theaters on April 11th, while Vanier will be returning behind the camera after "Loup" -- another adaptation of one of his own books -- and the documentary "The Last Trapper."
It's not known how prominent the character actually is, but from the synopsis of the book, it seems like a supporting role to main protagonist of the story, Matt, who heads to the Klondike in 1897 to seek his fortune in the gold rush and is faced with the harsh conditions there. Filming on the English language picture will take place over one year to capture the Yukon as it passes through the seasons, with a release planned for 2014. According to Vanier, he was so inspired by Redford's turn in Sydney Pollack's "Jeremiah Johnson" he decided to contact him for a role in his movie.
"When I saw this film in the 1970s, I was shocked," said Vanier. "It's great to be back in the far north with him in the middle of nowhere. For "Gold in the Snow", a film that I have in me for ten years, I thought of Robert Redford at the outset. I wanted to personally contact him outlining my project in a long letter." We'll soon see if this passion was enough to get Redford on board. Here's a synopsis of the book from Vanier's site.
1897. Matt, a young peasant U.S. decided character, flees the family farm to live the adventure. Hired on a wharf in San Francisco by two men to the tunes of conspirators, he embarked on a steamer, steering north. There he learns the purpose of their expedition: the Klondike, an unknown river in Alaska will soon be subject to all fantasies. We have found gold, much gold. First come, first served.
Also caught by the madness of gold, Matt confronts the hostile mountains and raging rivers to reach the Klondike. Gradually, the young man is captured by the North, he tames according to his mistakes. He can not help but go back to the city, and especially to the beautiful Mary enthroned in the saloons where she gives herself to the richest gold miners.
When the harsh winter coming, while others continue to seek his fortune, he decides to dig deeper into this wild country. Initiated by an old trapper, he learned to hunt for food, driving a dog team, to interact with the territories that it discovers. Yet the day is coming when Matt must choose between gold and sublime country, inhabited by a mysterious young Indian.
Gold was born in the snow on a true story: the gold rush in the Klondike, this incredible odyssey where fifty thousand men, among whom the writer Jack London went to get lost in a desert of snow and ice, simply because of a headline in the newspaper: "Tons of gold in Alaska." After the huge success of the Northern Song (XO Editions, 2002), Nicolas Vanier gives us here a great adventure story.
Here are trailers for Vanier's last two films, which clearly play to his documentarian and environmentalist background, and for "Jeremiah Johnson" which prompted the author to contact Redford.