With his highly anticipated third film in the “Before” series, Before Midnight, set to hit theaters next month, director Richard Linklater is closing in on his next project. The LA Times reports that Linklater is in talks to take the helm of the long-in-development adaptation of Bill Bryson’s travel memoir A Walk in the Woods. The comedic story centers on two childhood friends who meet up later in life to attempt to walk the Appalachian Trail, making observations about the world around them and catching up with their own lives during the journey.
Robert Redford and Nick Nolte have been attached to star in the film since June 2011 with Redford also producing, and this actually seems like a perfect fit for Linklater, a director who has plenty of experience crafting thoughtful, emotional, and even powerful films out of two people talking. Redford is set to play Bryson while Nolte will play his friend Stephen Katz, and production on the indie film might get underway as soon as this fall. Hit the jump to read a synopsis of the book.
“Not long after I moved with my family to a small town in New Hampshire, I happened upon a path that vanished into a wood on the edge of town.”
So begins Bill Bryson’s hilarious book A Walk in the Woods. Following his return to America after twenty years in Britain, Bryson decided to reacquaint himself with his native country by walking the 2,100-mile Appalachian Trail, which stretches from Springer Mountain in Georgia to Mount Katahdin in Maine. The AT, as it’s affectionately known to thousands of hikers, offers an astonishing landscape of silent forests and sparkling lakes–and to a writer with the comic genius of Bill Bryson, it also provides endless opportunities to test his own powers of ineptitude, and to witness the majestic silliness of his fellow human beings.
For a start, there’s the gloriously out-of-shape Stephen Katz, a buddy from Iowa who accompanies the similarly unfit Bryson on the trail. Once Bryson and Katz settle into their stride, it’s not long before they come across the fabulously annoying Mary Ellen, whose disappearance ruins a perfectly good slice of pie, a gang of Ralph Lauren-attired yuppies from whom Katz appropriates a key piece of equipment, and a security guard in Pennsylvania who, for no ascertainable reason, impounds Bryson’s car. Mile by arduous mile these latter-day pioneers walk America, along the way surviving the threat of bear attacks, the loss of key provisions, and everything else this awe-inspiring country can throw at them. [Amazon]