By Anne Thompson and Beth Hanna | Thompson on Hollywood October 21, 2013 at 2:04PM
UPDATE: An official first image has been released of Reese Witherspoon in "Wild," where she plays a woman coming to terms with the death of her mother and her dissolved marriage by embarking on a thousand-mile hike along the Pacific Crest Trail. It is adapted by Nick Hornby from Cheryl Strayed's memoir.
Plus, Laura Dern has joined the cast. She joins the previously announced Thomas Sadoski ("The Newsroom") and Gabby Hoffmann ("Crystal Fairy and the Magical Cactus").
EARLIER: Fox Searchlight's "Wild," starring Reese Witherspoon and Thomas Sadoski ("The Newsroom") in Nick Hornby's adaptation of Cheryl Strayed's bestselling memoir, has gone into production. The film, directed by Jean-Marc Vallee ("Dallas Buyers Club"), is shooting on location in Oregon and then California.
Michiel Huisman ("World War Z"), Gabby Hoffmann ("Crystal Fairy and the Magical Cactus"), W. Earl Brown ("The Lone Ranger") and Kevin Rankin ("Dawn of the Dead") have also joined the cast.
Here's the official synopsis:
With the dissolution of her marriage and the death of her mother, Cheryl Strayed (Reese Witherspoon) has lost all hope. After years of reckless, destructive behavior, she makes a rash decision. With absolutely no experience, driven only by sheer determination, Cheryl hikes more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail, alone. WILD powerfully captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddens, strengthens, and ultimately heals her.
EARLIER: Fox Searchlight has nabbed worldwide rights to Nick Hornby's adaptation of Cheryl Strayed's bestseller "Wild," which stars Reese Witherspoon as a woman so broken by her mother's death and the dissolution of her own marriage that she, as a way to heal, embarks on a 1100-mile hike along the Pacific Crest Trail. Production is slated for a late fall release once a director is in place.
Witherspoon, a long-time fan of Hornby's work, recruited the writer for the project. Her banner Pacific Standard will produce along with River Road Entertainment's Bill Pohlad. "Wild" is only one of several female-oriented projects put into motion by Pacific Standard since its inception in March. Gillian Flynn's buzzy mystery "Gone Girl" is also in development, along with Mitch Larson's childrens' book series titles "Pennroyal's Boot Camp" and "Pharm Girl."
Hornby discovered the Lynn Barber memoir "An Education" and showed it to his producer wife, Amanda Posey, as a possible movie. He liked it so much he adapted it for the screen himself, something he has avoided doing with his own novels, three of which--"High Fidelity," "Fever Pitch," "About a Boy"--have been turned by other writers and directors into damned good Hollywood movies. He did adapt his first novel "Fever Pitch" into a British "football" movie starring Colin Firth, but otherwise he has kept some distance from Hollywood adaptations of his novels.
But now Hornby's own "A Long Way Down" is being adapted for the screen by Jack Thorne, and will star Imogen Poots, Pierce Brosnan, Toni Collette and Aaron Paul as four people who find each other on New Year's Eve and resolve to form a surrogate family. Also in the pipeline is Hornby's adaptation of Colm Toibin's "Brooklyn," with Rooney Mara attached in the lead role, following a young Irish immigrant living in New York in the 1950s.
(Here's our video interview with Hornby on "An Education.")