Brit author and screenwriter Nick Hornby is set to adapt Cheryl Strayed's memoir "Wild," which centers on a woman so broken by her mother's death and the dissolution of her own marriage that she embarks on an 1100-mile hike along the Pacific Crest Trail as a way to heal. Reese Witherspoon is attached to star in the lead role.
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.")