EXCLUSIVE: After seeing so many of his novels turned into films, Nick Hornby is taking on the work of a peer. He has signed to write the script for Wild, the bestselling Cheryl Strayed memoir that Pacific Standard’s Reese Witherspoon and Bruna Papandrea have set up with River Road Entertainment’s Bill Pohlad. Witherspoon and Papandrea will produce with Pohlad, who’ll finance development.
In Wild, Strayed tells the inspiring story of a woman who tries to rebuild her shattered life by taking on a mission not seen in film since Forrest Gump ran across the country. Traumatized by the death of her mother and then the breakup of her marriage, Strayed made the impulsive decision to try regaining her mojo by taking on an 1100-mile solo hike along the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State. Despite no experience in long-distance hiking, she succeeded and in the process pulled herself back together. Wild is among several female-driven projects that Witherspoon and Papandrea have put in development since they formed Pacific Standard last March; others include the Gillian Flynn novel Gone Girl, Mitch Larson’s Pennyroyal’s Boot Camp, and Pharm Girl. Just as important, Wild creates an opportunity for Witherspoon to play a strong heroine, the role she shines in most brightly. (more…)